After the Umpqua Community College mass-shooting in Oregon, the media began addressing the phenomenon known as the “Beta Uprising.” Many felt the shooting was part of this uprising therefore they tried to explain what it was and who would participate. The following a brief history and analysis of the “Beta Uprising.”
Origins and Evolution:
In 2008 a programmer on the image board www.4chan.org launched an experiment called ROBOT9000 or /r9k/. Traditionally, 4Chan’s core user base supplied content for the board, but up to that point much of content comprised reposts, or “copypasta.” R9K was a script inserted into the 4Chan board preventing users from reposting images. Therefore, each user would have to post original content. It was thought that /r9k/ would usher in a new user experience. It quickly evolved into a forum where users would share personally awkward moments. Users, dubbed “robots,” would also write short fictional stories and add images of “Pepe the Frog” showing their disdain for the world. As /r9k/ evolved, the users developed their own lexicon;
- Robots: (/r/obots)- The core users of /r9k/
- Normies: (normalfags)- People who are not part of the robot culture,
- NEET- Not in Education Employment or Training- members with no future prospects
- Tendie- A mid-20’s male who lives at home and likes chicken tenders
- Chad- A normie male, often physically fit and in a relationship with a female
- Ashley- An attractive normie female, ignores robots and seeks out “Chads”
- Alphas- Normie males and females who think they are better than robots
- REEEE- An expression of anger, like a scream
Further evolution of the /r9k/ board led to the recognition of a previously under-recognized social class known as “Beta Males.” Each story told by robots tended to pit them against some external, “Alpha” tormenter like a Chad who treated them badly, an Ashley who ignored them, or even their own mother who refused to get a hamburger for a Tendie who was busy on 4Chan. Robots saw themselves as a sub-class; unable to get jobs, yet moderately educated and technically savvy but also unable to have a relationship with a person of the opposite sex. Betas were in perpetual social war with Alphas. Their only refuge was places where other Betas met, which meant Internet forums like Reddit and 4Chan. Here, they would share their stories of real world rejection and engage in a perpetual downward spiral. The constant struggle against Alphas led to the fantasy of millions of robots (Beta Males) suddenly revolting against the Alpha order, and killing them, hence, the “Beta Uprising.”
Dozens of fictional accounts of mass shootings, stabbings, rapes, and other crimes filled the /r9k/ and other similar sites like Reddit. On occasion when a mass shooting occurred, robots would openly discuss if the shooter was “just like them” and was finally exacting revenge. The original ROBOT9000 board was shut down in 2011, but in 2014 a new ROBOT9000 board was created. The culture remained the same. By mid-2015 the board was renamed ROBOT9001.
Online a person can be anyone they want, but in the real world (irw) robots cannot escape their reality. Sites like 4Chan, and the dozens of gaming sites on the Internet allow for fictional characters, often called avatars or avis, to be created and the user lives through their avatar. For most people, there is a bright line separating their virtual world from their real world. For the true Beta Male, the line is a harsh, painful separation from their online life. They may be highly intelligent and technically savvy, which gains them acceptance online, but in the real world they are socially backwards, unable to hold conversations, averse to conflict, and unable to talk to women. They isolate themselves through their behavior and lack of self-confidence. They often feel alone and unable to find common ground with those around them. Many Beta Males feel intellectually superior to their peers, but they cannot show it outwardly.
It seems contradictory that Beta Males are averse to conflict, yet would carry out an act of violence. At their core, Beta Males develop an anger toward a society that does not accept them. The anger grows as they link-up with other Betas online and trade stories of their unfortunate experiences. Betas eventually grow to hate “normies” and despise women. They are fixated on the sexual aspect of relationships and often lament how they cannot find a willing sexual partner. The hatred eventually boils over in some of the Betas and leads to the conclusion they need to kill their enemies and themselves.
Since most Beta Males have avoided confrontation to this point, they do not know how to handle it in a manner that does not include self-harm or harm to others. When you combine this with easy access to weapons, you find a volatile combination. Mental health experts have relayed their dismay at how cavalier many Betas are when discussing death. Many of them do not see death as a deterrent, rather an escape from their mundane lives. They see the killing of others to be retribution for denying them friendship, sex, and meaningful relationships.
Detection and Deterrence:
Not all Beta Males are going to lash out with violence. Many of them will grow into adulthood and pursue meaningful lives. In fact, Betas believe they are cut from the same cloth as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg who got their revenge by showing the world their genius. The ones prone to a violent end display characteristic traits:
- No desire to work, go to school, or associate with people
- Reliant on medication “to make it through the day”
- Drink heavily
- Hostile to women
- History of suicidal ideation and/or attempts
- May share detailed fantasies of murder
- Stalking like behavior toward one women
- Porn depicting violent or degrading sexual encounters
- Detailed plans for killing
- Suicide notes or poems left on-line or in real life
Deterrence is difficult topic. Some subjects may require mental health treatment. It has also been suggested that Beta Males simply need external, positive contact with people. Thus puts the onus on society to engage these subjects and try to show them are a functioning member of a diverse society.
It is unlikely a full-scale “Beta Uprising” will ever occur. Despite this, it would be folly to ignore the mounting evidence showing the dangers associated with real world withdrawal accompanied by deep immersion in the cybersphere, constant public rejection, and the use of medication to normalize behavior. Recognizing and intercepting the violent Betas is a task laid at the feet of mental health practitioners, education professionals, and when needed, law enforcement.