For those who are as of yet uninitiated, The_Donald is a Reddit community dedicated to all things Donald Trump.
Loyal Trumpsters use the thread to discuss the President’s policies, speeches and various political topics – it’s also a place for them to dissect and ridicule any ‘liberal bias’ opinions which clash with those of their fleecy haired leader.
The_Donald has previously created controversy, with some members using it as a space to express racist and white nationalist views – it’s perhaps not the friendliest place on the internet…
Those who were on Twitter blaming Muslims for the actions of what turned out to be a radical white terrorist should apologize.
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) October 2, 2017
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, many members of The_Donald discussed the incident under the presumption the attack had been carried out by a Muslim man.
This is despite the religious beliefs of the shooter having not yet been revealed at this stage.
The conversation quickly turned to the idea of a ‘Muslim ban’, with one person noting, ‘Travel ban is useless, we need a Muslim Ban and we need it yesterday!’
Another person replied to this comment with the following shocking suggestion:
Not only that. We need a Muslim Deportation. All Visas Revoked. All “refugees” need to leave now. That filth does not belong in Western civilization.
However, once it was revealed the shooter was 64-year-old white, American man Stephen Paddock, the comments quickly took a different turn.
The FBI have confirmed no link has been established between Paddock and any overseas terrorist group, despite Isis rushing to describe Paddock as a ‘Soldier of the Caliphate’.
At this point, the language in The_Donald thread began to change. Suddenly the ‘narrative doesn’t make sense’ and ‘something feels fishy’.
One Trump fan remarks:
Don’t you find it odd that the shooter had no motivation? Have you seen the born identity super soldier concept? They basically program shooters to act when given a command?
This person could well have been inspired by the 200 Matt Damon movie, The Bourne Identity and its subsequent sequels, which involve a group of super ‘sleeper’ soldiers who are used by the CIA to commit assassinations.
The conversation rapidly begins to escalate, with some Redditors becoming convinced this was a ‘false flag’ operation.
One person comments:
Oh f**k, didn’t Alex Jones very recently warn of an impending false flag??
As ‘America’s leading conspiracy theorist’, far-right radio host Alex Jones has previously accused the government of being involved in the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma bombing.
It’s therefore fairly plausible he would have recently spoken about a potential false flag operation.
Another impassioned Redditor said:
Why is EVERY news outlet pushing the Isis claim?? This is really smelling like a false flag op to me now! Soros is my main suspect!!
This appears to be in reference to George Soros, an 86-year-old billionaire hedge fund manager – Soros has funded progressive and liberal causes, such as promoting the human rights of ethnic minorities, through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
As a result, he’s provoked suspicion among those on the far right and has been at the centre of many fanciful conspiracy theories – some even believe him to be actively working to bring down the global currency.
If they don't release all of the security video of this ONE GUY loading everything into the room, it's looking like a #FalseFlag to me
— Team Trump 2020 (@WeWantTrump2020) October 3, 2017
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent shooting in Las Vegas.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.