A new video game that lets gamers play a Donald Trump character who dangles a transgender woman off a roof faces mounting backlash over allegations it promotes white supremacy and violence against minority groups and women.
Authorities have been urged to take action on media platforms that promote disturbing alt-right extremism following the murder of 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand last Friday.
Critics say not enough is being done to moderate sites’ permanent content and contributor posts – though some governments, including the UK, have vowed to crackdown on right-wing extremists.
Major phone providers, including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, took the extraordinary step of blocking some sites in an effort to stop the spread of white supremacist propaganda after footage of the Christchurch attack spread.
On Thursday, the ABC reported the head of the UK’s national deradicalisation program had urged Australia and other liberal countries to invest in terrorism prevention to combat far-right extremism.
It followed a rise in the number of cases linked to right-wing radical beliefs being referred to British authorities.
A look at popular social websites, including online games, reveals disturbing views are widespread, with extremist rhetoric creeping into the mainstream.
The New Daily uncovered posts in the forums on Reddit where trolls were attacking the victims of the mosque massacre.
Jesus Strikes Back: Judgement Day allows the gamer to choose from characters that resemble Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Jesus Christ and encourages them to shoot feminists, Jews, Hispanics, Muslims and members of the LGBTIQ community.
The plot follows the return of Jesus Christ to a “post-apocalyptic world ravaged by radical socialism and religious fanatics”.
A screen grab of a scene in the game depicts Donald Trump dangling a transgender woman off an apartment building, and another shows a man shooting a woman going for a jog at point blank range.
A petition calling for Jesus Strikes Back: Judgement Day to be banned has been signed by more than 3000 people.
Payment service provider PayPal permanently banned the developer from using its services in December over claims they were promoting hate, violence and racial discrimination.
But the game remains available to buy online.
The developer defended the controversial content by claiming it is a “parody satirising modern political culture as a whole and in its entirety”.
“This video game makes no comments whatsoever on political affairs, race, religion, sexuality, gender or real-world individuals or organisations at any time during gameplay,” a statement from the developer said.
RMIT University media and communications senior lecturer Glen Donnar said the game reflected a sentiment shared by some marginalised white men who feel like they are losing their power to women and minority groups.
“There is a perception that white men are under siege, that they are being replaced or substituted,” Mr Donnar said.
“Rather than focusing on the root cause of legitimate grievances, such as less security in the workplace or less social mobility, they’re picking easy targets and those easy targets are either minorities or women.”
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