Nazis Made Fake Antifa Account On Twitter To Stir Up Some Violence, Like They Do
An NBC investigation has revealed that members of the white supremacist American Identity Movement (formerly Identity Evropa) attempted to establish a fake Twitter account for a national "antifa" organization, for the purpose of making people think that A) there is a national "antifa organization" in the first place and B) that said organization is calling for violence against white people, for the purpose of sowing discord. The Twitter account, @ANTIFA_US, has since been suspended.
The American Identity Movement, you may recall, is a group led by white supremacist Patrick Casey that is closely associated with the "Groyper" movement — you know, the creeps who go around yelling at other conservatives for not being fascist enough.
The big tell here was that the things the account was tweeting sound a whole lot less like anything an actual antifa account would tweet, but exactly how the fictional antifa that lives in the heads of racists would sound:
As protests were taking place in multiple states across the U.S. Sunday night, the newly created account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted, "Tonight's the night, Comrades," with a brown raised fist emoji and "Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours …"
We can assume that by "the white hoods" they meant "white neighborhoods" and not KKK members.
It's so stupid on so many levels that it is almost hard to believe they thought anyone who wasn't an extremely ignorant, delusional, and socially inept racist would buy it. It's like the white supremacist version of me doing an impression of Elvis Costello declaring his undying love for me like "Oh Robyn you are so great and smart and super pretty and also a better singer, even, than my wife Diana Krall" and expecting people to believe it's actually him talking. But unlike that, this is not hilarious. It's dangerous. Not necessarily because anyone on the Left will see it and be inspired to go do that but because the ignorant, delusional, and socially inept racists will buy it and use it as an excuse to hurt people.
Actual antifa accounts are not telling people to do anything except help people, donate to bail funds, and stay on top of the news regarding the protests and the messed up things the cops are doing at the protests. Antifascist activists don't organize like that anyway. They organize in smaller affinity groups that do not have a hierarchical structure or leaders. Especially anarchist antifa groups, because you know what anarchists hate most of all? Hierarchy!
Ironically, one of the side effects of Trump's absurd designation of antifa as a terrorist organization when it is neither of those things (and he can't even do that), but rather is an organizing philosophy and set of tactics for opposing fascism, is that a lot of previously clueless people are starting to understand what it actually even is. And that's pretty nice! It means that more people will look at something claiming to be Official Antifa Organization of The United States a tad more skeptically than they would have before, which dilutes the power these idiot white supremacists have.
The other side effect, however, has been Republicans disingenuously grasping at their pearls and screaming about how THE CELEBRITIES ARE FUNDING TERRORISM when they donate to bail funds for protesters, which by the way should not have to exist to begin with, because cash bail is gross. That has been less nice.
There is so much purposeful disinformation going on right now that it is really best to not jump on any bandwagons until it is clear what is actually going on. There are accounts like this trying to make protesters and organizers look bad, there are deceptive tweets and bot-driven hashtags and screenshots of tweets, and even videos that aren't showing the whole story. Anything that looks like something meant to make people think, "Whell, I agree with why they're protesting but ..." should be taken with a grain of salt until it's proven to be true. You'll never regret taking a beat, but you will regret spreading something that isn't true and having to backtrack later. Especially if it was a thing made up by white supremacists.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse