May 15, 2022 | NBC

Mass shooting in Buffalo sheds light on extremist online communities

In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, concerns are being raised about the role of online communities in fostering extremist attacks.

ISD’s Ciarán O’Connor spoke to NBC about what is known of the attacker’s involvement in online spaces, including forums and platforms, dedicated to extremist conversations and hate speech.

“4chan is a safe space to hate, denigrate others and promote white supremacist ideologies,” Ciarán told NBC. “It does seem as though this person could have used these forums to learn how to best approach this act of violent extremism and how to maximise the potential to cause as many injuries and as much death as possible.”

Ciarán O’Connor is an Analyst at ISD, working in the Research and Policy unit.