George Floyd protests: White supremacists pose as Antifa online and instigate violence

Gino Spocchia
Donald Trump blamed left-wing groups for protest disturbances: AP

Twitter has deleted a white supremacist account that was pretending to represent “Antifa”, the left-wing activist group that Donald Trump has blamed for disturbances during protests across the US.

“This account violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “We took action after the account sent a Tweet inciting violence and broke the Twitter Rules.”

The fake @ANTIFA_US account, which called on its followers to “f***k the city”, was linked to a white supremacist group known as Identity Evropa, said Twitter.

It comes as thousands of new Facebook members are added to so-called ‘justice for George Floyd’ groups created before the unarmed black man’s killing last week.

Whilst the groups are named in tribute to George Floyd, some pages appeared to be renamed in a bid to attract thousands of people to private feeds.

According to Facebook’s own data, one group named ‘Justice for George Floyd’ had seen more than 1,773 new members within the past 30 days, and some 1,860 in total.

That came despite the group having been created more than two years earlier, in February 2018, when it was called ‘Global RHL ( MEN & WOMEN Group)’.

The sudden increase in members appeared to come at the same time the page was renamed ‘Justice for George Floyd’, less than 48 hours after his death caused widespread outrage and attracted attention online.

But an admin account named Martin Hector Morales, who created the group in 2018, can be seen using apparent slurs against black Americans in previous posts.

On April 8th, he used the slur “dinda nuffins” to mock black Americans who had supported Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Dindunuffins: I don’t vote, it ain’t gone change s***t,” wrote Mr Morales on his own Facebook feed. “Also dindunuffins: OMG I can’t believe Bernie Sanders duh snake left us, he was gone be the first black president.”

Another account with moderator control over the ‘Justice for George Floyd’ page, named Jay Ted M Peraah, had also made degenerative comments about black culture on his own Facebook feed.

“Sorry if you don’t like it but African rappers are culture vultures,” wrote Mr Peraah last month, who also slammed “black male Democrats” for listening to feminists, the LGBTQ community, and “Communists”.

The moderator then wrote “Trump 2020” underneath the post.

Alongside the Facebook group’s name changes, the opinions and posts of its members raise questions about the motives and authenticity behind the page that has now attracted almost 2,000 thousand members.

Whilst other Facebook groups named ‘justice for George Floyd’ appeared to be genuine, others also appeared to have been created to cause division through the same means.

In a statement, Facebook said it "blocks millions of fake accounts every day" and that the 'Justice for George Floyd' page brought to its attention would be reviewed.

The spokesperson added: “There’s no place for hate speech or inauthentic behaviour on Facebook and we are investigating the accounts brought to our attention."

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