Violent protesters identifying as anti-fascist or “Antifa” have harassed various people across the country, demonizing conservatives and particularly those who support President Donald Trump. Activists have bashed people in the head with bike locks, hit their own political allies in the back of the head during protests, and even launched a plot to buy guns from a Mexican cartel to “stage an armed rebellion” at the border, according to an FBI investigation. Despite these attacks and more, journalists with HuffPost, The Guardian, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have maintained connections with Antifa activists, a new report revealed.
The SPLC, which makes its mark by following organizations it accuses of being “hate groups,” has taken some flak for refusing to brand Antifa a “hate group.” Perhaps this report explains why.
Eoin Lenihan, a former teacher and current analyst focused on online extremism, announced that his team had “mapped the social interactions of 58,254 Antifa affiliated accounts on Twitter based on an initial seed of 16 self-identifying and verifiable Antifa accounts (and Mark Bray who chose not to confirm if he is a member of Antifa but whose book makes a solid case for inclusion).”
In a long Twitter thread, Lenihan revealed the results of his study, zeroing in on the 1.65 percent of Twitter accounts most closely connected with Antifa, a total of 962 accounts. Each had a minimum of eight connections with known activists.
After mentioning a few journalists with close Antifa connections and Twitter bios mentioning their anti-fascist affiliation, Lenihan turned to Emily Gorcenski, who “uses Twitter to dox those she deems fascist. Further she created the ‘First Vigil’ website that processes court documents to share the personal information of suspected members of the far right. In cases where people are found innocent (50%), info is still shared.”
Then the researcher turned to the journalists who work for HuffPost, The Guardian, and the SPLC.
“Jason Wilson writes for the Guardian. In a recent piece in which he reports on an intelligence report by the ROCIC which states that Antifa are responsible for street violence just as the far right are, he heavily relies on Mark Bray as a primary source to attack the report,” Lenihan tweeted. “Mark Bray – also in the top 2% of our dataset – & author of Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook (he donated 50% of profits to the Antifa International Defence Fund) is a recurring Wilson source in his columns. Together they downplay Antifa violence & extremism in The Guardian.”
“Christopher Mathias is a senior writer at [HuffPost] who specialises in the Far Right. In a recent piece he wrote about members of Identity Europa he spread the doxes of several alleged members serving in the military,” Lenihan continued. When Mathias doxed these alleged Identity Europa servicemembers, “he had no idea of their innocence or guilt and as of his pinned tweet, the matter is still only under investigation.”
Mathias took the servicemembers’ identities from an Antifa news outlet that published leaked discord servers from Identity Europa. The HuffPost writer “lets Antifa doxers do the heavy work, he does the national level doxing.”
Lenihan also noted that Mathias outed a “Prominent white supremacist” in HuffPost. That article got the man investigated, but the man was later cleared of wrongdoing and allowed to return to work. “Like the Europa case Mathias doxes first, facts later.”
“What happens here is that Mathias harvests info from his Antifa network to cast serious allegations against individuals with potentially career shattering consequences and, through doxing, opens up the real chance of violence and serious harm against them,” the researcher reported.
Lenihan condemned white supremacists and fascists, noting that many Identity Europa members “are despicable people and they have been labeled an extremist group by the SPLC.” Yet even the SPLC has ties to Antifa…
Among the top two percent of Twitter users with close ties to the extremists is “chief investigative reporter for the SPLC Matthew Hayden.”
Many Antifa doxers seem not to believe in redemption. Lenihan drew attention to AntiFlashGordon who “chases [and] continues to harass a target from town to town, job to job.”
After publishing these results, Lenihan reported receiving week-long harassment from Antifa.
He also warned Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, that “there is a massive Antifa problem on your platform.”
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.