New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday that she would refuse to use the name of the shooter who killed 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch last week.
"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was a celebrity," said Ardern. "And that's why you'll never hear me mention his name." She added, "He's a terrorist, he's a criminal, he's an extremist. But when I speak, he will be nameless. "
In recent years, not only the leader like Ardern, but also the media and the public has been more involved in what they are doing here. The concern: mass shooters perform these terrible tragedies partly out of fame and fame. When widely mentioned in public discussions and media coverage, they get what they want ̵
Jaclyn Schildkraut, author of Mass Shootings: Media, Myths and Realities summarized the evidence for Vox:
The imitation effect is real. A 2015 study suggests that mass shots increase the likelihood of additional mass shooting in the two weeks following the incident.
A recent study supported the theory of short-term contagion less, but still warned the media Reporting on these attacks could lead to counterfeiting effects over a longer period of time.
An ABC News survey from 2014 revealed that in the 14 years after Columbine, at least 17 shooters – and 36 other students threatened with raids fired – directly cited the Columbine shooting or its offenders as partial motivation for the Attack. In short, making offenders famous has consequences.
In New Zealand, the shooter seemed particularly interested in streaming parts of the shooting live and publishing a manifesto advocating white supremacist and Islamophobic views. So if the public, the political leaders and the media deny him a platform, he will not get what he wants.
But more people have to come on board. Media around the world have widely reported the name and details of the New Zealand shooter from his manifesto, including in some cases a direct link to the manifest itself. Until this change, there will be a strong incentive for potential imitators.