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The New Zealand national flag is flown at half-mast. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

49 people are dead in New Zealand, a month after an American Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested for plotting a domestic terror attack and 5 months after 11 were killed by a Neo-Nazi in Pittsburgh.

Why it matters: The world has a white supremacy problem, radicalized online and fueled by tech platforms that have proved unable to prevent themselves from being used as hosts for first-person shooter videos and manifestos.

Driving the news: The shooter identified himself via his manifesto as a 28-year-old white supremacist and Australian, per the Associated Press, and said he aimed "to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims."

Details via Axios tech editor Scott Rosenberg:

  • The shooter's 17-minute Facebook Live video, shot from a head-mounted camera, appears to have been taken down soon after it was posted, but versions of it continued to crop up on YouTube and Twitter for hours afterwards, often autoplaying on visitors' screens.
  • The video's perspective put viewers in the shooter's shoes in the manner of a first-person shooter game, but with the sickening awareness that it was a real document of the murder of at least 49 people.
  • The killer's manifesto referenced white-supremacist memes and themes that have long circulated in far-right discussion spaces.

What they're saying:

  • The whole operation seemed to have been "engineered for maximum virality," as Charlie Warzel put it in The New York Times.
  • The New Zealand killer's media tactics represent a kind of white-supremacist mirror image of the approach ISIS crafted to spread its cause, NBC's Ben Collins pointed out.
  • Peter Kafka in Recode: "The platforms... did exactly what they’re designed to do: allow humans to share whatever they want, whenever they want, to as many people as they want."

The big picture: These terrorists are increasingly targeting places of worship.

  • 2012: White supremacist kills 6 at Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • 2015: White supremacist kills 9 at historic black Christian church in Charleston
  • 2017: White supremacist kills 6 at Islamic mosque in Quebec City
  • 2018: White supremacist kills 11 at Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh
  • 2019: White supremacist kills 49 at Islamic mosque in Christchurch

The bottom line: President Trump today, on whether he sees white supremacy on the rise...

  • “I don't really, I think it’s a small group of people.”

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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