Paul Mullen, Christopher Cantor and colleagues have published an analysis of possible copy cat mass slayings where they argue the influence of one rampage on another may have occurred across continents, and even over many years.
Mullen and colleagues point out that following research evidence that press coverage of suicides leads to copy cat suicides in the general population, there are now media guidelines discouraging certain kinds of reporting. Their research suggests the same guidance and restrictions should now apply to media reporting of mass killings. Of all kinds of mass murder, this type might be the most sensitive to and encouraged by media coverage.
It’s beginning to look like such blanket and graphic reporting is in fact encouraging some of the disturbed and disaffected all over the world to try their own hand at infamy, and a warped sense of power.