Digital Remnants of Elliot Rodger Become Internet Battleground

University of California, Santa Barbara students walks past a sign showing support for the college community Sunday, May 25, 2014, in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif. Sheriff's officials said Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near the UC Santa Barbara campus, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood.

A fierce debate has sprung up around videos and forum posts from Elliot Rodger, even as sites move to block some of the most controversial content.
Rodger, the 22 year old who went on a murderous rampage in southern California on Friday, left no shortage of material. A manifesto, a Facebook page, a YouTube account, a lone blogspot post, and comments on two different forums quickly surfaced after police confirmed that a video of Rodger was "connected" to the violence.

The content of those posts, particularly language directed at women, has led to a debate about Rodger and his association with so-called men's rights groups as well as the larger issues surrounding gender in society.

The Posts

Soon after news broke of the shooting, links to those posts began circulating. Some began to disappear. Comments from Rodger on no long load., a site in which people discussed the "pick-up artist" industry that housed some of Rodger's most aggressive posts, appears to be down entirely.
YouTube took down the last video he posted, in which he discussed the rampage he would go on and his motivations. His account still hosts 21 videos with titles like "My reaction to seeing a young couple at the beach, Envy" and "Life is so unfair because girls don't want me."
A YouTube spokesperson told Mashable regarding the videos: "Our hearts go out to the families affected by this terrible news. Videos threatening violence are against YouTube’s guidelines and we remove them when they are flagged. We encourage anyone who sees material that they think crosses the line to flag it for us. As YouTube is a place where people come for information, where content is posted in a news context it will be allowed to stay on the site."
The content of Rodger's posts caused alarm not only for the outright threats but also the way he spoke of women. One of the videos posted on Reddit spurred commentors to question Rodger's sanity.
"If this isn't a troll, then I bet we find out this guy is a serial killer. I'm getting a strong Patrick Bateman vibe from him," one commentor wrote six days ago.
":( we should have warned the police," another responded after news of the rampage broke.

Fuel on the fire

Rodger's digital footprint may be smaller than before, but others are beginning to add to it. Facebook pages emerged either to support or mock Rodger. One such page, "Elliot Rodger is an American hero," has drawn particular ire for its attempts at blaming feminists for Rodger's violence. The Guardian reported that one of the tribute pages had been taken down after numerous complaints.
Another Facebook page claiming to be a "neutral" place for "information and discussion" also housed numerous posts attempting to critique feminism.
Facebook has taken some pages down, but others continue to be created.

Other forums around the Internet have also exploded with discussion surrounding Rodger. Numerous Reddit threads already have hundreds of comments.

The "Men's Rights" Movement

Much of the debate has coalesced around something called the "Men's Rights Activist" (MRA) community, a controversial movement that is considered a reaction against feminism and has been labeled by many as misogynistic.
Rodger has been linked by many with the MRA movement for his posts on and the type of language he used, although he did not explicitly identify himself with any particular group.
A widely circulated article on Daily Kos linked Rodger's YouTube manifesto to the men's rights movement. "The true Alpha Male. What those who call themselves the Men's Rights Movement aspire to be," the article states.

Others pointed to broader gender issues denied by men's rights activists as having contributed to Rodger's mindset. The hashtag #yesallwomen gained traction over the weekend after the killings sparked people to share stories of everything from sexual assault to workplace discrimination.
The trend was at least part inspired by "not all men," a phrase that had recently galvanized debate about sexism in society.

Those claims have been refuted by some, including Kashmir Hill at Forbes who called the move to put some blame on the men's rights movement as a "severe oversimplification, and an overly rapid rush to judgment."
The MRA community broadly rejected any association with Rodger.
Those arguments were echoed on social media.

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