Friendly Fire in the American Patriot Death Cult

Brendan O'Connor · 04/12/16 10:15AM

One afternoon in early January, just outside the small, north Texas town of Pottsboro, Vincent Smith shot and killed his friend, Charles Carter, who was drunk. The two were members of the American patriot movement, and they had been organizing, through Facebook, a march of gun rights evangelists on Washington. According to those who knew him, just before he was killed, Carter was expressing an interest in acquiring the makings of a bomb. The march imploded, just feet from where it began, before it ever got on the road.

How To Get Media Attention With Less Than A Press Release

Nick Douglas · 01/21/08 06:49PM

Everyone knows Facebook groups can be made by anyone, are unofficial and unvetted, and don't have any bearing on real-world decisions even within Facebook. I mean, they're below petitiononline.com on the "gives a damn" scale, since the only effort required to "stand up for the cause" is clicking a link to join the group. But in stories like this one from the BBC, reporters don't make that caveat. Treating Internet comments as commensurate to real-world discussion makes sense to lazy reporters: why solicit quotes when they can lift some from a YouTube comment thread? But giving hope to Facebook users by pretending their "save Scrabulous" or "bring back Studio 60" group has any bearing on the real world, is cruel. Thank god the leisure activists deserve it.