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Mass Shooterism and the Need for Online Interventions and Bystander Resources

Recent perpetrators displayed similar concerning, and often extensive, online behavior prior to the attacks.

Following recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New YorkUvalde, Texas and Highland Park, Illinois, details have emerged that all three perpetrators displayed similar concerning, and often extensive, online behaviour prior to the attacks – from watching footage of previous mass shootings, to idolising mass shooters to expressing intent to harm other students or commit violence against women and girls.

At this stage, however, the Highland Park shooter is only somewhat distinctive from other recent mass shooters. The Uvalde, Texas, school shooter, for example, was also obsessed with serial killers and mass shooters. He reportedly filmed himself killing cats, and had an history of sexual harassment and violence against young women online. The perpetrator of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history in Parkland, Florida in 2018, similarly shared his obsession with shootings and his intentions to “become a professional school shooter” on social media, including sharing photos of his guns on Instagram.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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