Alek Minassian was charged on Tuesday with 13 counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder after mounting a pedestrian walkway with a van, then ploughing through people with reckless abandon in an apparent, murder suicide attempt. When the police arrived at the scene Alek claimed to have a gun and shouted “shoot me in the head”, however in a show of bravery and compassion the police officer did not comply.
The truth is that Alek had severe mental problems and was a student at a school for people with special needs in North Toronto. Alek had regularly been seen by fellow students and teachers walking the hallways of his school with his head down and hands clasped firmly together, making cat noises. His Facebook profile also praised Elliot Rodger, a 22 year old Californian who murdered 6 people in a 2014 shooting before killing himself. The message read “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
In line with the current day trend, the media seems to be focusing all of its attention upon the Incel group (involuntary celibates) in the over arching 4chan sub culture that Alek seemed to engage with and mentioned in his ranting to Police. The Incel group had been taken down by Reddit because it violated the community standards for calls to violence. To put things into perspective here, there hardly seems to be a group on the internet in which somebody isn’t tongue in cheek calling for the extermination of the Jews/Christians/black people/white people/yellow people/homosexuals/none homosexuals/ traps/police/politicians/ice cream men/dinosaurs… or pretty much anything. How long a group tends to stay up for is generally how long it takes for all the fun spoilers to come along and cry to Reddit/Facebook about how mean people are for saying mean (yet often incredibly funny) things.
Not a single mention as far as I have found yet, has been made about what medication Alek had been taking or any kind of investigation into the school to find out if he had been bullied, or red flags had been missed preceding the horrific incident. It seems that nearly every serious incident of mass killing in modern history has one shared theme, which is the perpetrators use of psychotropic medication. The authorities have confirmed that this was indeed not a terror attack but instead the lone actions of an incredibly confused and mentally ill man.
So what exactly is 4Chan?
4chan is a stand alone message board pre-dating Reddit, were people from all walks of life, poke fun at developments in society and often actively attempt to undermine the hard left movements that seek to collectivise and split society based upon arbitrary characteristics such as race/gender identity. At its busiest 4chan was around the 7th most visited site on the internet, coming to mainstream prominence after the election of Donald J Trump, hence the establishment media has sought to destroy them ever since. Popular series American Horror Story seemed to make a great effort to demonise users of 4chan as psychotic and dangerous white supremacists.
4Chan have indeed engaged in some very tongue in cheek behaviour in the past, however violently assaulting people has never been on the agenda at all, in fact quite to the contray of the narrative that the media seems to be going to great lengths to build, 4chan have actively sought to destroy violent actors. On April: 5th 2017 pro and Anti Trump protesters took to the streets in Berkleym when a masked, black clad agitator viciously wounded an attendee with a bike lock before retreating into the crowd. 4Chan through analysis of hundreds of pictures from the event, managed to identify the assailant as university professor Eric Clanton and summarily forwarded the evidence to the police, which went on to charge Clanton.
As well as bringinig Clanton to justice, 4chan also succeeded in identifying Isis terrorist training camps using recruitment videos, before forwarding their location and supporting evidence to the US millitary, thus greatly aiding in progress against the terrorist network that has caused untold misery to thousands of people.
All in all, despite 4chans hobby of causing small amounts of chaos for laughs at the expense of hard line social justice warriors and proponents of intersectionality, they have proven themselves to be a force for good. Any collection of people on the internet or otherwise, always has the chance of attracting a mentally unstable lone actor, thus to judge all by the actions of one, seems very misguided. Attributing blame to 4chan for the Toronto attack is like attributing blame to a libary in which someone read Mein Kampf, then went on a shooting spree. I personally hope that 4chan can weather this storm and go on to keep the internet buzzing with awe inspiring events.