The Internet — or factions of it, anyway — seem to have fallen in love with fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, whom authorities say has killed three people, including a police officer.
Facebook pages declaring solidarity with the accused murderer are now racking up “likes” by the thousand, even as the former L.A.P.D. officer wages a one-man war against his former colleagues and creates havoc across Southern California.
What kind of person gives a digital thumbs up to an accused cop-killer?
Using Facebook and our own proprietary tools, Vocativ has analyzed the demographics of Dorner’s fans on some of the most popular Facebook pages in this genre. We’ve found that the vast majority of those supporting him are men from Los Angeles. Women account for just 26% of his “fans”.
Supporters have hit the “like” button from as far away as Japan, Turkey and Australia, albeit in small numbers. Many are in the 25 to 34 age group and almost half attend or graduated from college.
The most popular fan page, by far, “I support Christopher Jordan Dorner” launched on February 6th and has more than 10,000 supporters. A statement on the page says it’s not about “supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”
Indeed, in many of the posts, Dorner is elevated into something of a folk hero as dissatisfaction with the Los Angeles Police Department seems to trump the allegations of murder against him. One post jokingly refers to Dorner as Batman.
One thread on the aforementioned Facebook page goes so far as to solicit guns and ammunition for Dorner, “in case he runs out.” The page moderator says they “unfortunately” do not know where he is. The LAPD has offered $1 million reward for information leading to his capture.
There has also been a lot of criticism on these groups about the LAPD’s manhunt. There have been two separate incidents in recent days where drivers have been shot at by police looking for Dorner.
But in and among the posts cheering Dorner on, there are some who think his supporters are “morons”.
The movement is not limited to Facebook. Supporters are also on Twitter, using the hashtags #WeAreChrisDorner, #WeStandWithDorner and #GoChrisGo!