Like a character from one of Michel Houellebecq’s French novels, Mr. Magnotta appears to be the ultimate example of the atomizing, de-personalizing nature of online life.
Under the banner headline “The assassin of the Facebook generation,” the Paris newspaper Le Figaro launched this theme on Wednesday with an essay by cultural critic Marc de Boni.
Without the web, “the butcher of Montreal would not exist,” Mr. de Boni concludes. “This killer character is a narcissistic and deviant avatar, one of many virtual identities he invented in order to create celebrity.”
What else do you say about an alleged psychotic killer who has 70 Facebook accounts and who is suspected of filming the dismemberment and possible cannibalistic attack on student Lin Jun, which somehow attracted 600 “likes” on the Facebook page where it was originally posted?