The gaming platform Steam has run down to over 100 profiles that memorize the suspected shooter behind today's tragic mosque shooting in New Zealand, claiming 49 people's lives.
Until this article dozens of users of the PC gaming service were published entirely to hire the alleged author behind a white supremacist manifesto taking responsibility for the New Zealand shot. These profiles tended to fit the suspected killer's name and image, the most common of which appears to be a screenshot from a Facebook rescue movie. A profile shows a GIF of the attack while others offer praise for their actions or refer to him as "Kebab Remover" or "Saints" or "Hero."
Early this morning, 66 profiles claimed the alleged shooter's name, and in just three hours, that number inflated to over 100. Hours after Kotaku stretched out to Steam for comment, but the alleged shooter's name disappeared from these profile main pages but still remain under a list of previous aliases. Yet new ones appear.
According to this article's publication, only two users claim or mimic the name of the suspected murderer on both Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to almost 100 pages referred or earned The suspected New Zealand shooter continues hundreds of pages to settle for former mass shooters, including perpetrators of massacres in Charleston, Isla Vista and Parkland and the 2011 mass death in Norway. These profiles also fit the names and images of these terrorists, sometimes their mughots or press photos from their trial. Many have lived for several months or years. 45 profiles referring to Charleston shooters name remain alive, including four created near the date of the 2015 attack.
"It is very difficult to wonder why people do things on the internet. Internet culture tends to be steeped in irony and satire," said Alice Marwick, assistant professor of communication at UNC Chapel Hill, studying extremist social media content . "With what is said, this type of irony and satire strokes very genuine hatred … I believe that when people take on these mantles, yes, they can be ironic or edgelords, but even if you do not imitate their actions, you mimicking their belief system. "
For years, groups promoting Nazis and white supremacists have been flourishing on Steam, VICE motherboards hate in 2017. Only a year later, the Center for Investigative Reporting showed that Steam served as home for 173 groups" blatant past school shooters ", including some described as" A group for all my shooters "and" School shooters are heroes ".
Valve, the company behind Steam, has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to moderating the content of games, groups, and user sites that their platform hosts, which is what makes today's moderation effort remarkable. Yet Kotaku reported at the end of 2018 that Steam silently removed some of the hate groups that hosted it. "Different parts of the Steam Community are moderated by a combination of official Valve staff, community moderators, and game developer representatives and publishers," says Steam's moderation document. Starting this year, Steam hosted 90 million monthly users – a behemoth moderation task.
Public reverence for mass shooters contributes to the disadvantaged and deeply-denied hero story that helps to crush them, whether it be ironic or sincere.
Further reporting by Dhruv Mehrotra.