Brenton Tarrant Tried to Trick the World in Manifesto, Vide…


The suspect in the New Zealand mosque shootings used disinformation to manipulate the media response and spreading white supremacist ideas long after the killing had stopped.

All he needed was a forum post, a rambling manifesto, some social media accounts, and a GoPro camera.

Other white supremacists killers, including Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Norwegian mass shooter Anders Breivik, have released their own manifestoes and littered social media platforms with clues about their motivations. But the suspect in the Christchurch terrorist attack went much further by trying to control the narrative about what he did.

In an echo of ISIS and Al Qaeda, alleged terrorist Brenton Tarrant staged the attack for the media, filming it and then releasing his own message about it, faster than the press or authorities could fact-check. He jammed dozens of references into his manifesto, calling himself an “ecofascist” and trolling reporters with the claim that he drew inspiration from conservative personality Candace Owens. The shooter apparently knew that immediately after mass shootings, journalists often face a deficit of information on the suspect, and eventually compile a complete picture based on interviews and confirmed reports.

Much of his manifesto was set up like a press conference, addressing questions from imaginary “supporters” and “detractors.” Rather than rely on the media to deduce his politics through the mass shooting and his social media profiles, the manifesto’s writer answered a series of questions on every shade of his political beliefs, from his takes on socialism to his thoughts on Donald Trump. All of those answers were sandwiched between dozens of pages of rote attacks on Muslims and calls for violence, with the manifesto’s newsier elements guaranteeing a wider circulation for the entire document.

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