What is 8chan? The site's alleged link with the Christchurch mosque massacre is important
49 people were killed in Christchurch, New Zealand after a gunman opened fire inside two mosques on Friday. In addition to the 49 killed, at least 40 others were injured. The main suspect in the shootings is 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, a white man from Australia. New Zealand’s prime minister has accurately described the horror as a “terrorist attack.”
This brutal act of violence clearly had its roots in xenophobia and racism. Why? We’ll unpack all of it, with a particular focus on what 8chan (seemingly) has to do with this abhorrent violence.
Posts from the alleged shooter appeared on a website known as “8chan” before the deadly attack. Links to a Facebook live stream of the attack were included in these posts. The live stream of the massacre, narrated by the shooter, was 17 minutes long. After being contacted by the police, Facebook removed the poster’s accounts.
A 74-page manifesto called “The Great Replacement” also appeared on 8chan and Twitter. Both the live stream and this manifesto have made moves around other social media, like WhatsApp, reddit, and YouTube, since the massacre.
(Note: These materials are not linked or embedded in this diary.)
Tarrant allegedly posted to the 8chan message board known as “/pol/ – Politically Incorrect” with these materials. He was reportedly met with much support (link opens to screenshots from 8chan, posted to Twitter) from other users.