A pseudonymous Twitter account is crowdsourcing the names of people who attended a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — and trying to get them fired from their jobs.
The rally, which began Friday as an ostensible protest against the removal of a statue depicting Confederate General Robert E. Lee, turned deadly on Saturday. A man identified by Charlottesville City Police as James Alex Fields Jr., 20, accelerated into a crowd, killing anti-racist protester Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring at least 19. Two state troopers, H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates, were also killed in a nearby helicopter crash.
Photos of racist protesters and neo-Nazis went viral over the weekend, prompting a crowdsourced effort to identify and publicly shame rally attendees.
The pseudonymous account @YesYoureRacist, which since 2012 has attempted to identify racists and white nationalists, is consolidating those efforts. “I’ve been using this account to call out racists on Twitter in real life for nearly five years, so when all of these photos started popping up from the torch rally Friday night and the alt-right march on Saturday, I figured it was only natural that I would continue to call them out,” the man who runs the account, who declined to share his name, told BuzzFeed News.
“I live in North Carolina and am pretty active in political activism here,” @YesYoureRacist said. “I have friends who went to Charlottesville to counterprotest the Nazis, and once I saw the news of the car incident it was very worrying until I was able to get in touch with them and confirm they were safe. I'm a white guy, but I feel very strongly that white people have a responsibility to fight racism and all bigotry whenever they see it. Otherwise, they are passively supporting white supremacy by doing nothing.”
The account quickly began finding and sharing names.
Several hours after identifying Cvjetanovic, a news team in his local Reno, Nevada, confirmed the photo was of him.
@YesYoureRacist also identified by name an employee at the Center Street Top Dog hot dog stand in Berkeley, California. (BuzzFeed News could not reach the employee in question and has chosen not to reveal his name without confirmation that he was at the rally.)
In an email late Sunday, Top Dog management told BuzzFeed News that effective Saturday, the employee no longer worked there.
"The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by top dog," the email said. "We believe in individual freedom, and voluntary association for everyone."
The account is still actively trying to identify others from the rally.
This article has been updated to include a statement from Top Dog.
Kevin Collier is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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