July 26, 2021

social networks, breeding ground for radicalization

France 5 – Sunday May 30 – 8:50 p.m. – Documentary

Two chilling investigations return this evening to two tragedies: the execution of Samuel Paty, professor beheaded on October 16, 2020 a few meters from the high school of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine where he taught, by Abdouallakh Anzorov, an extremist Islamist; and the massacre of fifty-one people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019, by Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist. Two cases linked by a common point: the two young terrorists became radicalized on social networks, in full view of everyone.

Chronologically, methodically, the investigators reconstructed for “La Fabrique du mensonge”, presented by Karim Rissouli, the family and psychological paths of the killers, pointing to the incredible bankruptcy of digital platforms in moderating their content. A document that goes beyond the imaginable and questions beyond the networks.

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Abdouallakh Anzorov first appeared on Twitter on June 8, 2020, under the account @ Abdellah_270. Since then, all of his online activities have been found, contextualized, since the call to destroy China on June 24, 2020 – “Oh Allah, disintegrate this country” -, until the one launched to find ” a target “, after the opening of the trial of the January 2015 attacks and the republication on Charliehebdo.fr of the Prophet’s caricatures. The document also underlines the influence of triggering factors, such as the manifestation of Femen, topless, on July 7: “We must stone it because it harms the public”, he wrote on Twitter.

Convergence between virtual and real

The convergence between virtual and real will take place thanks to the controversy arising from a lesson by Samuel Paty (the slides projected in class are shown) and the lie reiterated by one of her students, Zora, then taken up by her father, amplified to lead to the online distribution of the teacher’s contact details. Courageously, the mother of a student in Samuel Paty’s class testifies, sometimes with tears in her eyes. By embodying tolerance, she brings one of the rare messages of hope in this documentary, which emanates an immense feeling of helplessness.

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The incomprehension is amplified in the second part devoted to the course of Brenton Tarrant, marked by his fascination for the theory of the “great replacement” (popularized by the French Renaud Camus), which he will want to verify by going to France in April 2017. How the Australian, a GoPro fixed on the front, could he film himself and give a link to follow “The live attack on Facebook” with impunity? The video of the massacre will be online for twenty-nine minutes, before a moderator, alerted, removes it; 300,000 Internet users had time to republish it. Facebook will take twenty-four hours to make its moderation system effective, the algorithm having confused the attack with… a video game.

The Factory of Lies. Network terrorists, by Guillaume Auda and Etienne Mélou (Fr., 2021 95 min). Also available on Lumni and on France.tv

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