The alt-right shattered one of Earth’s most peaceful countries.
No one can hide, not even the second most peaceful nation in the world: New Zealand. Filled with loving people of good heart and landscapes that are so beautiful that they take your breath away, New Zealand is the image of the very best of what humanity can be. However, the evil of the alt-right has found them, and in all of its horror, it gleefully slaughtered 49 Muslim worshippers in the name of white supremacy. While the universe of the people of New Zealand is turned upside down, we see that hate can never be corralled. In our global community powered by the internet, hate has no borders.
There are not enough words to describe the pain involved in the carnage in New Zealand, and yet at the center of it all, is a sick and twisted irony. The Australian shooter had written a 49-page manifesto, crediting white supremacy as his inspiration in his attack on the “invaders” of white countries; a term often used by various strong men leaders around the world today. What is lost is the fact that both Australia and New Zealand were homes of indigenous peoples such as the Māori that were themselves, invaded by the United Kingdom; in the same way that America and Native Americans were “invaded” by Europe.
The Internet Replaced Leaders of Hate
The concept of hating particular races, religions or peoples isn’t new. However, in the past, it required a leader to instigate the propaganda, spread the lies and misinformation, and gain followers and supporters large enough to take actions. We have seen this with fascist dictators such as Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile); and “religious” cult leaders for both ISIS in the Middle East and the KKK in the United States.
Moving an entire group of people into the ideology of hating required a well-planned brainwashing strategy, money and quite possibly an army. This is no longer the case.
The internet has far-reaching tendrils, and the sharing of propaganda can go viral in less than 24 hours. To say that the internet has been weaponized is an understatement. Those that support anti-Semitic views and Islamophobia among other forms of bigotry have redesigned their attack tools to access every aspect of the internet and social media.
Today’s more sophisticated deep fake videos, combined with YouTube’s AI algorithm to trap viewers has been one of the most successful methods to spread hate, racism, and bigotry. In one of our previous articles, we address the topic that people are naively unaware that they are being manipulated when watching YouTube videos.
“Machine language is controlling what we see and how we think, and as they are getting smarter, we are spiraling into a vortex of the dark. People are formulating opinions based on false representations, spewed out by automated sources that know what they want to hear and create the false reality to appease them. What is being seen is that many of these sites and videos are lining up with complete and total propaganda.”
The white supremacist terrorist that opened fire on the New Zealand worshipers was completely indoctrinated through the use of YouTube videos. He, and others like him, continue to watch videos that were solely designed to stir up vitriol hate against Muslims. The videos graduate into messages that become increasingly worse, and for those that are easily influenced or have mental disorders, it is a call-to-action for them. For others, it festers the state of hate, like an oozing wound.
The New Zealand terrorist gave quite a few white supremacist sources as the inspiration for his massacre including American leadership and the white nationalist movement in the U.S. There are many that argue that one cannot blame others for the work for a “lone wolf”, but when such a person describes his sources of inspiration in detail, one must at least take note on what his sources of motivation believe and stand for.
Those that are in control of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube, are quite aware of what their platforms are encouraging. While each organization has voiced that they are “taking steps” to circumvent the spread of hate and propaganda, the very profit engine of their business model relies on the ability to offer these formats to the rabid hate-filled crowd.
The stats are also in from those that monitor hate crimes in the U.S. In one of our previous articles Islamophobia Is a Cult of Hate Built on Lies, we include:
“According to the FBI reports, hate crimes have been on the increase, beginning with the time period of President Donald Trump campaigning for the Presidency.”
Religious bias (Based on Table 1.)
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,679 offenses reported by law enforcement. A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-biased offenses showed:
Extremist Hate Today — Is an All You Can Eat Buffet
When multiple societies normalize hate and violence, including the slaughter of innocent worshipers, men, women, and children, it becomes obvious that the global reach of the unfettered propaganda sources has achieved their goals. White supremacists have been expanding their “marketing” through online, printed posters, and even events.
A Slate article reported that white supremacists have a safe place on the internet. They are becoming smarter in their methods of communication, using gamer private chat platforms to spread news of meetings and events. Unless reported, Facebook remains one of the social media areas that they can announce and invite, although they are careful about using the wording that their members understand.
In an attempt to alert and warn, organizations around the globe are valiantly trying to monitor and track these hate groups, as well as reporting the potential dangers of attacks before they happen. However, this is a herculean task, requiring abilities to circumvent the hidden tactics through sleuth and deception. The haters know that a majority of the public around the world hold them in disdain, and they will do everything that they can to keep their attacks and hate philosophies secret. The Anti-Defamation League has an online “Heat Map” that is updated by state to locate hate groups.
8chan, 4chan — The Message Boards that Protect Hate
While many are aware of the internet trolls that spew their messages of hate, there are some specific online areas where they not only congregate but have their anonymity protected. 4chan started as the favorite den for meme creators, trolls, pranksters, and hackers. Under their cry of “freedom of speech,” they have used the message boards to launch whatever disgusting attacks that they planned. You have to realize that those that congregate on these message boards are the people that are lonely, looking for something to be a part of, and are easily influenced. They may already have a kernel of hate, blaming others and the world for their own sad lives.
However, this was just the beginning. It is 8chan that is the real den of evil. This location is where those that harbor not only the creation of misinformation, bigotry, and racism ideologies but also offer plans of action. It was on 8chan that a poster indicated that he was going to commit a mass shooting. Hours later a shooter opened fire on the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, resulting in the death of 50 people.
Individuals that are fans of 8chan include those that are encouraged to commit acts of violence. The originators of the message board platform had been previously kicked off of other gamer sites when they violated the community guidelines that included no personal info, acts of violence, etc. Google has also removed 8chan from any of its search engines. Those that join 8chan want to claim a name for themselves, and they will go to any length to get national or international notoriety.
8chan is a cesspool of message boards, filled with images and discussions of every form of perversion that exists in humanity. From pedophilia and hardcore pornography to violent actions of hate, and gun addicts, 8chan is the result of an out of control internet. An example of the sick mentality of those participating on 8chan is the Microsoft AI-infused chatbot, Tay. The development of this chatbot was to give it the ability to learn from the world through the accounts that tweeted it. It took less than 25 hours for those in 4chan and 8chan to tweet such hate messages that Tay took on a Nazi persona. Those on 8chan celebrated when Microsoft took Tay down. 8chan is the depth of depravity on the internet, showing that there is no limit to how “low” these individuals will go.
Fighting Hate Together and with Technology
There is a need to take a broad sweep approach in combatting the racism and bigotry that has been stoked around the globe. In an unprecedented action, a response to the 49 people massacred in Christchurch, the New Zealand Jewish community decided to close all synagogues on Shabbat as an act of support and solidarity with the Muslim community. Head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog tweeted:
“For the first time in history synagogues in NZ are closed on Shabbat following the shocking massacre of Muslims in Christchurch.”
However, as we have said before, thoughts and prayers are not enough. It is time to take a stand as a global community against those that would spread propaganda and hate. There is a need for sophisticated, smart technology to root out and expose the dangers, alerting people so that they can take charge of their lives and refuse to be manipulated.
Blackbird.AI stands with our partners and Kiwi friends in New Zealand and will do what whatever is in our power to help.
This Is Why We Fight,
We are fighting in the war against misinformation to create a more empowered critical thinking society.
To find out more about our team and the Blackbird.AI Mission, visit us at www.blackbird.ai