In response to the reported death of approximately 100 AIDS researchers aboard flight MH17, the commercial airplane shot down by a missile over Ukraine, Neo-Nazis made a crass exhibition of their opinion regarding the AIDS virus on an extremist online forum. Users expressed their views on the Vanguard News Network (VNN) Forum—a neo-Nazi forum which has, in the past, included notorious figures like Craig Cobb, a white supremacist jailed for intimidating residents of Leith, North Dakota; North Carolina White Patriot Party leader Glenn Miller, accused of committing a shooting at Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas in April 2014; and the Spokane, Washington bomber, Kevin Harpham.
On July 18, 2014, a VNN user identifying as a news bot posted the text from a USA Today article and retitled it, “Good news: 100 AIDS researchers may have been killed in crash - long live AIDS.” The article detailed the reported death of the AIDS researchers on board flight MH17 and the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne to which the group was heading.
Users responded with a remarkably unified tone of celebration to story, attesting that the death of the AIDS researchers was a victory for the disease, one which they view as an exterminatory necessity. User “Serbian” wrote:
Why can't AIDS once again be a certain death sentence for junkies freaks and deviants like it was in the good old days of the early to mid 80's? Because of people like these.
Another user named “Smiley” also resorted to insulting the researchers themselves, commenting that they “were aids activists. Just silly faggots prancing around throwing a big hissy fit about AIDS.”
Even those users mourning the crash victims still ascribed to the idea of AIDS as an effective agent in killing certain groups of people and claimed that it gets unfair priority by researchers. User “Joe_Smith” stated:
I think it's a little tasteless to celebrate them dying, but I'm not exactly heartbroken either. It pisses me off to no end that horrible and relatively widespread diseases like MS, Lou Gehrigs, pancreatic cancer, etc all have no cure, yet don't have even close to the same resources as AIDS research.
The user followed up, to the same note as other users, that AIDS is a self-inflicted and deserved illness. The user stated:
In the first world , faggots and IV drug users are probably the only group that is seriously susceptible to this diseases. All of that out of proportion money to address a health risk in about 3-4% of the population, who choose to do the kind of disgusting and morally bankrupt shit that increases the risk of getting AIDS, is political. Fags and Jews raise all the money for HIV/AIDS research to eliminate the risk of practicing the homosexual lifestyle.
User “Dan Hadaway” agreed, stating:
Reinstating laws against homosexual solicitation would be the best public health policy, at least until we have general antiviral treatments and much better antibiotics.Without those breakthroughs free range homosexuals will be able to evolve new diseases faster than science can cure them.
This is not the first time VNN members have espoused particularly horrific views. Forum participants have posted with glee and admiration at the actions conducted by Anders Breivik after he slaughtered 77 people as part of his 2011 attacks in Norway. In a discussion from April 2012 regarding Breivik’s trial, user “andy” called the man “A true humanitarian and so far the man of the century.” The user was then followed by another user, “N.B. Forrest,” who called Breivik’s teenaged victims “the young adult offspring of the current ruling Social Marxist scum being groomed to take the helm.”