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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Massive shootings that never happened

Por sumily

The author of Alt-America: The rise of the radical right in Trump's time, David Neiwert, believes that conspiracy theories are a key component of the process of radicalization on the internet and that they can cause more murders and mass shootings.

Neiwert sees two worlds that exist in the USA. currently: one inhabited by the dominant media and the majority of the population, and another, which he calls Alt-America that exists below the surface. Alt-America, the book, describes this bubble that the radical right has built for decades around itself. In this worldview, everything is upside down. Barack Obama is an undercover Muslim. There is a nefarious plan to enslave all humanity and put us in concentration camps run by the federal government.

In the United States, mass shootings are a regular occurrence. On average, there is one once a day. After each great shooting, follow a family script. Prayers are offered, the hashtag #PrayFor appears, prays for and the name of the last city in which it occurs, and becomes a Twitter trend.

Politicians argue about when might be the best time to talk about gun control. However, then most Americans forget about the problem, until the next attack. To the problem, an alarming and new phenomenon has been added, relatively. The victims are forced to deny that the shooting occurred, fueled by conspiracy theorists on social networks.

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured about 500 when he fired from a hotel room in Las Vegas toward the attendees of a country music festival. This attack, which occurred during the event called Route 91, was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

However, in one day, the survivors were already receiving offenses in social networks.The creator of the right-wing radio program Infowars, Alex Jones, claimed that the Las Vegas massacre was fabricated or, what is worse, the truth behind this fact was being obscured. Its unfounded assessment supported the hypothesis that the self-styled Islamic State, the CIA (Central Investigation Agency), the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the government of Saudi Arabia coordinated the events.

Jones, was also one of the main promoters of the conspiracy theory that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut, in 2012, was armed. In the darkest corners of Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, amateur detectives meet, examine testimonies and share endless evidence.

The British newspaper The Guardian reports several cases of harassment, such as that of Braden Matejka, a survivor of the Las Vegas attack who was forced to leave social networks due to abuse.

There were people who claimed that the shooting never happened and that Matjeka was a salaried actor as part of a government plot. Conspiracy theories about mass attacks have had real-life consequences, such as death threats received by some parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.