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An old 4chan meme gets new transphobic spin in wake of Nashville mass shooting (updated)

The popular 4chan mass shooting meme got a new spin today.


Jacob Seitz


Posted on Mar 27, 2023   Updated on Mar 28, 2023, 9:50 am CDT

An old 4chan meme that is frequently boosted during mass shootings is getting a new, transphobic spin in the wake of a shooting in Nashville, Tennessee today.

The shooting occurred at a private Christian school in Nashville on Monday, where a 28-year-old former student killed three adults and three children, according to police.

The meme is often used to trick and dupe media members and the public, accusing every mass shooting of being committed by comedian Sam Hyde. After the initial reports from police that the mass shooter was a woman, a number of internet users began sharing a photo and identifying the perpetrator as “Samantha Hyde.”

They even photoshopped longer hair and removed a beard from the image of Hyde that frequently circulate, this time it trying to accuse the shooter of being trans before police identified a suspect.

“Nashville Police have positively identified the corpse of the suspected Nashville Covenant School shooter as 31 year old Samantha Hyde. Social media posts indicate Samantha was a trans woman who previously went by the name Samuel,” a version of the post circulating reads.

According to NBC, police identified the shooter as Audrey Hale, who previously attended the school. NBC reports that police said Hale identified as transgender.

The meme of Hyde as a mass shooter dates back to at least the San Bernandino shooting in 2015 which killed 14 people. A U.S. congressman even fell for the meme after the Sutherland Springs church massacre in 2017 and told CNN that the gunman was Sam Hyde.

The newest incantation of the meme seems to have started on Twitter and proliferated from there.

Other accounts picked up on the meme, tweeting out screengrabs of the photoshopped image with the false information that Samantha Hyde was the shooter.


Both the meme and Hale being identified as transgender have whipped up transphobic conservatives online, who are sharing old images and screenshots of social media posts alleged to be of Hale.

This post has been updated.

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*First Published: Mar 27, 2023, 3:15 pm CDT