In January 2017, a man in Quebec named Alexandre Bissonnette shot up a mosque, injuring 19 people, and killing six of them. It was recently reported that he was a big fan of right-wing Twitter:
Bissonnette also appears to have obsessively visited the Twitter accounts of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, Fox News personalities; David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan; Alex Jones of Infowars; conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich; Richard Spencer, the white nationalist; and senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. Bissonnette checked in on the Twitter account of Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of the conservative news site the Daily Wire, 93 times in the month leading up to the shooting.
The people on this list all hold disgusting views, to be sure. In fact, if we followed the policy prescriptions of these right-wing demagogues, it would inevitably lead to incredible suffering for hundreds of millions of people. In addition to other bigoted views, they are all staunchly anti-Muslim.
It’s tricky to know how much culpability to charge these conservative blowhards with. On one hand, an unstable person could be set off by any number of things and these noxious Twitter personalities may just be the cherry on top. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that their 24/7 stream of misinformation-laden hatred helps make the situation better.