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Candace Owens Responds to Outrage After Being Named By Christchurch Mosque Shooter: ‘LOL!’

Candace Owens is facing widespread condemnation on Twitter for what many have seen as an insensitive tweet in reaction to the deadly shooting at a Christchurch, New Zealand mosque that left nearly 50 Muslim worshipers dead and nearly the same injured.

The shooter, identified as Brenton Tarrant, posted a 74-page manifesto oddly presented in a question and answer format that named Owens as the person most influential behind his radicalization, though many see his posting as a clear troll. In response to the question “Is there a particular person that radicalized you the most” Tarrant offered:

“Yes, the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens. Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness. Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes.

An image of that portion of the manifesto:

Owens tweeted in response to critics who took the shooter’s words verbatim:

Details of the manifesto are still unclear, but a fair reading of this portion strongly suggest the shooter was ostensibly trolling.

Owens, an American internet personality, is a controversial figure for many reasons, but she is known more for leading the “Blexit” effort to drive support African-American support for President Donald Trump than pushing Islamophobic beliefs.

To that point, Owens added in a follow up Tweet:

The manifesto posted is best described by Robert Evans writing for Belling Cat, in a post titled “Shitposting, Inspirational Terrorism, and the Christchurch Mosque Massacre“:

But this manifesto is a trap itself, laid for journalists searching for the meaning behind this horrific crime. There is truth in there, and valuable clues to the shooter’s radicalization, but it is buried beneath a great deal of, for lack of a better word, “shitposting”.

What is Shitposting?

Shitposting is the act of throwing out huge amounts of content, most of it ironic, low-quality trolling, for the purpose of provoking an emotional reaction in less Internet-savvy viewers. The ultimate goal is to derail productive discussion and distract readers. “The Great Replacement” is a clear and brutally obvious example of this technique.

In his manifesto, Brenton credits far-right personality Candace Owens with beginning his radicalization. He states that, “Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness. Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for are too much, even for my tastes.”

She was recently in the news for apparently defending Hitler’s nationalism, saying that it was his globalism that was truly Hitler’s problem. Those comments earned wide condemnation and she later clarified that she was not, in fact, a supporter of Hitler.

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