A thread on the popular message board 4chan is under careful scrutiny from Federal authorities after this week's Oregon shooting left at least 10 dead. The thread that caught the attention of law enforcers shows how an anonymous user cautions others to avoid going to school on Oct. 1.
"Some of you guys are alright. Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest," the ominous message read.
Official statements confirm that the 26-year-old man was shot and killed by the police.
The identity of the shooter who attacked students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, remains unknown, but it is speculated that it might be the same as the 4chan user who heralded the tragedy.
One disturbing fact is how, in the online thread, there were voices supporting and advising the supposed criminal in carrying out the attack.
The way the website is built gives very little information to the authorities trying to investigate the connection.
Young men seeking fame and attention have resorted to public armed violence, and social media have made it a lot easier to get attention.
Signs that violent actions are imminent sometimes flood Facebook, Instagram or 4chan. In the aftermath, friends, family and authorities make the connection and think about what could have been done to stop the mayhem. The problem is that it's sometimes hard to tell truth from boasting, and 4chan is particularity good at mixing the two.
The message board is famous for being the training ground for "trolls" of the Internet. Briefly put, trolls are users who make outrageous or provocative statements just to test public reaction.
If the investigation concludes that the shooter indeed logged in and announced the crime on 4chan, it may support the need to rethink the anonymity behind the popular message platform.
Anger and frustration were visible in President Barack Obama on Thursday night as he delivered a brief televised statement from the White House.
"We've become numb to this," the President affirmed, referring to the recurrent shootings that plague the United States.