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Fake Antifa Twitter Accounts Are Trolling People And Spreading Misinformation

This is part of a coordinated campaign to create fake accounts in an attempt to troll and discredit anti-fascist activists.

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There's recently been a spike in the creation of fake Twitter accounts that claim to be linked to activists in the United States who call themselves anti-fascists, or Antifa. Here's what some of the impostor bios look like:

BuzzFeed

Other accounts aren't as obvious about their trolling, making it more confusing for people.

The accounts are being set up as a way to mock Antifa, and to discredit it by tweeting out hoaxes and offensive comments. The campaign has also in some cases spread to the streets.

Memorial Day provided an occasion for the fake @OfficialAntifa account to send out tweets that falsely claimed to show the group's desecration of military cemeteries.

@OfficialAntifa / Twitter / Via Twitter: @OfficialAntifa

None of the photos in the above tweet are from Memorial Day 2017, and none of them are related to Antifa campaigns. The "fuck militarism" graffiti was done in October 2015, and the image of the knocked-down crosses is from Memorial Day 2016 when a man drove his car through the cemetery. The third image of graves with swastikas spray-painted on them is from a cemetery in France in 2004 — and the graves belong to Muslim soldiers.

The same Twitter account sent another tweet with more images taken from unrelated incidents. As with the other tweet, it tagged fake Antifa accounts to suggest this was the result of coordinated action.

@OfficialAntifa / Twitter / Via Twitter: @OfficialAntifa

The photo of the "tear it down" graffiti is from North Carolina in 2015. The "not heroes" image was also in North Carolina, but it was taken in 2016. In both cases, people spray-painted memorials to Confederate soldiers. The image of knocked-down crosses is from the same 2016 incident in Kentucky referenced in the above tweet.

Many replies to the tweets are from people who think the images show actual Antifa actions on Memorial Day. "At what point in time can they be considered domestic terrorists and can be taken dead or alive?" asked one person.

One of the fake tweets is getting additional exposure from alt-right media figure Jack Posobiec, who until recently was the Washington bureau chief for The Rebel, a right-wing website based in Canada.

@JackPosobiec / Twitter / Via Twitter: @JackPosobiec

Posobiec is a prominent propagator of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, and he pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy as well. Both have been debunked. Posobiec was also behind the effort to place a "rape Melania" sign among the crowd at an anti-Trump protest.

A fake Antifa tweet also got a boost from an account belonging to MicroChip, a Trump supporter who controls a powerful network of Twitter bots.

Meanwhile, the fake @OfficialAntifa account ended its series of trolling tweets by sharing a GIF of burning crosses and falsely claiming the fires were started by "an anonymous #Antifa cell."

Another #DestroyHate Day of Action report from an anonymous #Antifa cell. Excellent work, comrades.

Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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