Jun 2, 2020 - Technology

Twitter suspends fake antifa account tied to white nationalists

A screenshot of the suspended account
Screenshot: Axios

Twitter said Monday that it has suspended an account named "ANTIFA_US" which it says was tied to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Over the weekend, the account had called for violence and its posts had widely circulated online.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of social media being used to exploit and sharpen the very real divisions in American society. It's also the latest example of Twitter more aggressively rooting out false information on its platform.

"This account violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts," a Twitter representative told Axios. "We took action after the account sent a Tweet inciting violence and broke the Twitter Rules."

  • Twitter has previously taken action on other fake accounts linked to the Identity Evropa group, including ones engaged in targeted hate focused on race, religion and sexual orientation.

Context: As protests about the death of George Floyd spread nationwide over the past week, President Trump and his allies began charging, without evidence, that antifa — a label for a variety of far-left anti-fascist groups and activists — were responsible for the unrest.

The big picture: Twitter has become more active in holding to account those promoting violence on its platform.

  • Last week, the service flagged a tweet from President Trump for violating the company's rules against glorifying violence.
  • On Monday, it did the same with a separate tweet from U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.
  • President Trump, in response to his tweet being labeled, issued an executive order that aims to limit the protections afforded to social media.

Facebook, by contrast, has refused to label or remove any of Trump's posts, sparking a significant amount of dissent internally. That culminated in an employee walkout Monday, during whch a reported several hundred Facebook employees stepped away from their desks and posted messages calling on the company to take action.

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