More Than 30 UT Students Doxxed for Crime of Being Conservative
More than 30 students at the University of Texas have been doxxed by a student antifa group, typically for the crime of joining conservative clubs or being spotted at lectures held by conservative speakers.
The doxxers — calling themselves Austin Autonomous Media (AAM) — are a small collective of UT students. Since fall 2018, AAM members have snuck into conservative club meetings, taken photos of attendees, and posted students’ names and emails online.
The AAM also typically posts students’ phone numbers and employers. For example, one young woman was doxxed for the crime of attending a pro-Kavanaugh rally. "Call [employer redacted] to get her fired: (512) XXX-XXX" the post said.
Saurabh Sharma, 21, is the president of the UT chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT). Many of Sharma’s cabinet members have been doxxed, and he says the fallout has been immense. (PJ Media is not linking to the doxxing posts to protect students’ privacy).
"It hasn’t impacted all our members… but it has discouraged many from staying involved," Sharma told PJ Media on Monday. Sharma himself was one of the first students to be doxxed, and says the experience has him rattled. His contact information is still online.
"It makes me nervous, walking around campus. I never walk around outside with my phone out. One thing people like to do in Texas is to run up to people and snag their phone," he said.
"There always is a concern that I could be doxxed again, this time with more personal information, and that AAM students could be in my classes or try following me around on campus," Hukeri told PJ Media.
Nathanael Ribar, 18, was doxxed after he was spotted at one of YCT’s weekly meetings. Ribar, who is majoring in astronomy, worries that future employers will Google him and find the YCT’s posts.
"This is what worries me the most, that my political activism could hurt my prospective career in theoretical physics. But science is about using one's mind to uncover the truth. If I don't stand up for what I know to be true in any sense, what kind of scientist would I be?"
Another student, Lillian Bonin, 20, says one of her employers received numerous harassing phone calls after she was doxxed.
Her crime, according to the AAM? She has "liked" many conservative pages on Facebook, including those of Tomi Lahren, Ben Shapiro, Gary Johnson, and Dinesh D’Souza. She’s also the vice president of YCT, one of the leading conservative groups on campus.
"My boss and I actually had a fully honest conversation about what was going on from my perspective and then I heard their perspective," Bonin told PJ Media.
She said her employer was "very reasonable and I honestly appreciate them a lot for just taking such a fair approach to something I'm sure wasn't their fave thing," added Bonin.
Like other high-profile conservatives at UT, Bonin has been doxxed multiple times.
"It's gotten easier with each round, but the first time I was completely distraught for a few days and missed a couple days of classes…. [T]here are always enough threats that I sometimes find myself insanely paranoid, always checking behind me," she added.
Nearly 25 others have also been doxxed since November. Many told PJ Media they hope the doxxing will eventually blow over, and many cited fear of future retribution from the AAM if they spoke on the record. Many hope the doxxing blog will eventually be deleted.
But only U.S. blog hosts such as Wordpress and Tumblr typically deplatform doxxing pages. However, since the AAM is hosted on Noblogs, an Italian "antifascist" server, students doubt the blog will be deleted any time soon.
The AAM did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did some students rumored to be involved in helping the AAM book meeting space. The AAM does however have an active social presence, inviting liberal students with "dirt" on conservatives to share.
"Send any intel about the [campus conservatives] to us on facebook, twitter, or at our email" writes the AAM throughout its website.
The president of YCT, Saurabh Sharma, he has not pursued any disciplinary charges against any of the students known to be involved in the doxxing.
"The doxxing flies in the face of everything the university stands for, diversity, inclusion, and acceptance. But it’s protected under the First Amendment," conceded Sharma. "We’re at a loss as to what to do."
Reached by PJ Media, a UT spokesman suggested that the student-led antifa group may not be entirely comprised of UT students.
"We’ve had experiences where similar groups claimed affiliation to the university where none existed. This is certainly not any kind of registered student organization," he added. There is no ongoing investigation.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.