THE terrorist who livestreamed a mass shooting at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, told viewers to “subscribe to PewDiePie” before carrying out the atrocity.

“Subscribe to PewDiePie” is a popular internet catchphrase – or meme – used in reference to a competition between the Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, and Indian music company T-Series.

The pair are in an ongoing challenge to be the most subscribed channel on video sharing website YouTube, and Kjellberg’s fans have used the phrase as a way to advertise his campaign.

His “subscriber war” with T-Series included a music video in which he mocks the English of Indian people online.

It has also resulted in his fans using racial slurs against Indians, prompting a backlash from the country’s YouTube community against him.

Kjellberg did, however, respond by launching a fundraising campaign to support children in India, which has raised £170,000.

“Subscribe to PewDiePie” hit the headlines last week too, when a Second World War memorial in Brooklyn, New York, was defaced, with the message scrawled over it multiple times.

Last year, tens of thousands of printers and smart televisions were hacked in a bid to highlight security issues, with messages printed and displayed urging people to back PewDiePie against T-Series.

After yesterday’s horrific terrorist attack, Kjellberg tweeted: “Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch. I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person. My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Kjellberg has faced a number of accusations in the past of facilitating racism or being too close to alt-right figures.

His Twitter follows have also strengthened accusations of his alt-right links. He follows only 591 people, but they include professor Jordan Peterson, Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson and Canadian blogger Lauren Southern.

Southern’s YouTube catalogue includes a video she made about “The Great Replacement”, the name of an Islamophobic right-wing conspiracy theory of the European population being “replaced” by non-Europeans based on a French author’s book.

That same term was used as the title of a manifesto posted online suspected to be from the terrorist who livestreamed the attack. The video was briefly removed from Southern’s YouTube page yesterday, with no reason given, but is back up.

In 2017, PewDiePie lost a lucrative Disney sponsorship over a series of videos featuring anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi imagery, including using a service to pay someone to hold up a sign and choosing “Death to All Jews” as the text on it. He defended it as satire.

That same year, he was criticised after using the N word in a livestream. Only two days later, on another broadcast, he blurted out the first syllable before catching himself and stopping.