On Thursday night, four days before unnamed gunmen shot five people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, video surfaced of two men driving toward ongoing demonstrations around the police shooting of Jamar Clark, one of them carrying what appears to be a handgun. “We’re going to see what these fucking dindus are up to,” one of the men says near the beginning of the video. “And yes, we are locked and loaded.”
In the hours between the shooting spree at Umpqua Community College and the moment news networks were able to name Chris Harper Mercer as the alleged gunman, crowds on social media clamored for a name to fill the informational void. 4chan gave them two, both of whom turned out to be alive, and neither of whom has been named by authorities in connection with the tragedy. For a couple of hours, though, mobs on Twitter and Facebook believed these were the guys, and openly speculated about what drove them to do it.
When nude photos of Gabrielle Union leaked in the 4chan hack this fall, the actress was on vacation with her new husband Dwyane Wade and her kids. She said yesterday at a Cosmopolitan conference that she was furious: "I didn't do anything wrong—no matter what people describe to me, [the hackers are] criminals."
Over the weekend, actress Emma Watson delivered a speech at UN Headquarters in New York about a new gender equality initiative called HeForShe. The address was widely hailed—"game-changing," "stirring," "powerful"—and it drew the attention of men's rights trolls over at 4chan, one of whom is now threatening to leak nude photos of Watson.