“H8chan is starting the race war” – Hate online after IRL attacks

Dr Susann Wiedlitzka1, Dr Suraj Lakhani

1The University of Auckland, New Zealand

In 2019, multiple offline attacks were linked to the platform 8chan, a website that allowed anyone to create their own anonymous multi-content ‘imageboards’. This paper will discuss key findings from an exploratory piece of research on 8chan, undertaken in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand in March 2019 and the Poway Synagogue shooting in San Diego, California, a few weeks later. Preliminary research findings highlight differences in commentary on 8chan around the two events and demonstrate how posters used this platform to spread hateful ideology and to victimize the victims further.


Susann is a lecturer in criminology at the University of Auckland, researching online and offline hate. She is currently exploring online platforms and far-right extremist responses to ‘in real life (IRL)’ attacks. After completing a doctorate in criminology at the University of Queensland (Australia), she was previously appointed as a research fellow and then lecturer at the University of Sussex (UK). Susann also completed a Master of Arts in International Criminology at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences with a concentration in Criminal Justice at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (USA).


Dec 08 2021