Who would want to be Facebook friends with a mass murderer? Answer: quite a few
By Hans Olav Arnesen
Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik recieved a huge number of friend requests in the first hours after the atrocities.
The curious fact that criminals convicted of heinous crimes, such as rape, murder or even mass murder receive both fan letters, love letters and wedding proposals after being incarcerated, is old news. That is also the case for the Norwegian mass murderer and terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik.
In our age of communication technology however, such signs of support, or even love, might appear almost immediately after a crime has been committed. Anders Behring Breivik established a Facebook-profile a mere 5 days before he committed the atrocities that left 77 people dead, and many more injured, in the wake of a bomb blast aimed at the Norwegian government building and a shooting spree at a summer camp for young Labour Party-members.
Breivik spent a lot of time preparing for his infamous entry into the Worlds spotlight in the weeks and months before the terrorist attacks. He had cosmetic surgery performed on himself and had his picture taken at a professional photographer. Some of these pictures were later published on his Facebook profile.
His name began appearing in the media around 22 AM. on June 22. It was closed down just before 2. PM. when Facebook noticed an unusual amount of traffic moving through his profile. During these 4 hours 997 people made a friend request to the mass murderer, according to the Norwegian newspaper VG. In addition there was 647 comments made on his wall during this time. Many of them were bitter and angry at the mass murderer, but there were also comments from people who voiced their support to the killer. One of the messages read:
“Nice job dude”.
Another said (in Norwegian):
“Support you through thick and thin. “
Facebook has been praised for playing an important and positive role in the so called Arabian Spring. Breivik proves that Facebook can also be used by terrorists as a propaganda tool, and perhaps also a means for terrorists to communicate with each other. If Breviks supposed network, The Knights Templar, really exists, there might be clues to the identities of its members hidden on Breiviks Facebook- account. Facebook refuses however, to allow Norwegian police access to these data.