Fanning the Flames - Action Center on Race and the Economy

How Big Tech, Wall Street, and Right-Wing Media Corporations Were Complicit in the Christchurch Mosque Shootings and Continue to Enable Anti-Muslim Violence and Bigotry

Content Note: This report features quotes and descriptions of quotes that express hateful and violent views of Muslims, including those connected to white supremacist terrorist violence and genocide. We have opted to quarantine direct quotes in the appendix at the end of the report, but there are disturbing descriptions of the quotes in the body of the report. Additionally, this report does not print the names of any of the attackers or would-be attackers or provide links that lead to hateful quotes or platforms selling hateful materials so as not to give them further notoriety or additional attention.

On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist walked into two different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and killed 50 Muslim worshippers and injured another 50. The gunman live-streamed the gruesome attacks on Facebook Live and prefaced the attacks with a 73-page manifesto he distributed immediately prior to the attacks. The manifesto was littered with white supremacist rhetoric from books such as The Turner Diaries (which is available on Amazon), anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, and neo-Nazi symbols, and it specifically cited Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

Trump’s policies and rhetoric, especially on Twitter, have been shown to lead to violence. Research shows that anti-Muslim hate crimes have skyrocketed since Trump started running for President in 2015, and “that the increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims… is almost exclusively driven by counties with high Twitter usage.” However, Trump is but one cog in a large international machine that includes public officials, think tanks, and major corporations with global reach in the tech, finance, and media sectors. This far reaching infrastructure reliably resources anti-Muslim individuals and groups to grow and thrive.

The Christchurch mosque shootings provide clear evidence that the rise of white nationalism and anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States has global consequences. In this report, we look at the role that Big Tech platforms, Wall Street firms, and right-wing media corporations have played in fanning the flames of white supremacy and anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and abroad.

Big Tech Platforms: Providing Safe Spaces for Unsafe Actors

Wall Street Firms: Greasing the Wheels of Bigotry

Right-Wing Media: Giving Bigots a Megaphone

This report was written in partnership with our friends at LittleSis.