Decoding The Memes The New Zealand Shooter Used To Communicate


That idea that there’s a quiet genocide against white people is at the heart of the manifesto of New Zealand shooter Brenton Tarrant. There is nothing original about it. What’s most striking is his clear desperation to be adored by the people on alt right message boards, where the white genocide conspiracy theory thrives. His manifesto is packed with memes from those boards.

And these memes are important to understand, because they’re central to online radicalization. They make becoming an extremist into a game, a game that rewards following these message boards super closely, and impressing others by making up variations on those memes. Those message boards valorize mass killers who were motivated by racism. From his manifesto, it’s clear Tarrant wanted to be celebrated too.

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