The alt-right is trying to create its own online eco-system—and their racism is getting worseby Morgan Meaker / November 8, 2018 / Leave a comment
Last month, residents of the McAnulty Acres apartment complex in Pittsburgh thought little of the quiet truck driver Robert Bowers.
Later, they’d tell the American press he seemed entirely normal. He was 46. He had dull blue eyes and thin greying hair. He kept to himself but would say hello if they passed him stood outside smokingor on the way to his first-floor apartment.
What his neighbours didn’t know was that online, Bowers possessed a very different personality. On his Gab social media account, he was obsessed with antisemitism, fervently posting vicious hatred of Jewish people.
On the morning of Saturday 27 October, Bowers logged into Gab, sharing a barrage of other people’s antisemitic posts, conspiracy theories and a racist cartoon, before writing his own message. Targeting HIAS, a Jewish NGO which supports refugees, he finished the post with the words: “Screw your optics. I’m going in.”
Minutes later, police say, he walked into Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, armed with an assault rifle and three handguns, and killed 11 people.