In the wake of the tragic March 22 Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting, social media users took to their platforms, calling for the arrest of the shooter—whom many dubbed a white male.
As more information has been released, the shooter has been identified as 21-year-old Syrian Muslim immigrant Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa.
A prominent voice on social media, Caleb Hull, posted a thread of the tweets assuming the shooter's race.
Among the list of those calling for "white supremacist" Alissa to be convicted is Vice President Kamala Harris' niece, Meena. She has since deleted the tweet, in which media sources have quoted her as saying, "The Atlanta shooting was not even a week ago. Violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country."
I deleted a previous tweet about the suspect in the Boulder shooting. I made an assumption based on his being taken into custody alive and the fact that the majority of mass shootings in the U.S. are carried out by white men.— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) March 23, 2021
Social media editor for news outlet The Blaze, Jessica O'Donnell, questions the inconsistency in Twitter's misinformation policy, especially as conservative voices have been silenced for posting what the social media giant has deemed violates its policies in the past.
Twitter says calling Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa a 'white Christian terrorist' doesn't violate its misinformation policies https://t.co/2RAjcRLDbJ— Jessica O'Donnell (@heckyessica) March 24, 2021
"The Tweets referenced are not in violation of the Twitter Rules," a spokesperson told Newsweek in an email. "We will not take action on every instance of misinformation. Currently, our misinformation rules cover COVID-19 misinformation, synthetic and manipulated media and civic integrity."
Concern over Alissa's mental health is also at the forefront of news reports.
Interviews with the purported shooter's siblings and former classmates, and previous statements Alissa made on Facebook, depict a man who had violent confrontations with his wrestling teammates and who worried about being targeted due to his Muslim faith, Religion News reports.
"He would talk about him being Muslim and how if anybody tried anything, he would file a hate crime and say they were making it up," Dayton Marvel, described as a former classmate, told The Denver Post. "It was a crazy deal. I just know he was a pretty cool kid until something made him mad, and then whatever made him mad, he went over the edge — way too far."
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