'Antifa' account being run by a white supremacist group shut down by Twitter for inciting violence
An account claiming to belong to a national 'Antifa' group was taken down by Twitter on Monday, June 1, after they found out that it was created by the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, according to a spokesperson for the micro-blogging site. The account, which used the Antifa logo and named its Twitter handle 'Antifa America', had posted an "alert" on the micro-blogging site, reading: "Tonight’s the night, comrades."
"Tonight we say “F*** The City” and we move into the residential areas…the white hoods…and we take what’s ours," the white supremacist group in the guise of Antifa wrote. The tweet ended with the hashtags #Blacklivesmatter and #F***America.
Twitter, in a statement to NBC News, said that the account was suspended by the company after it found the tweet inciting violence. Identity Evropa is an American neo-Nazi and white supremacy organization. The tweet came shortly after President Donald Trump vowed to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. Antifa, short for "antifascist" protest movement, is a network of far-left groups that are often seen confronting far-right extremists at American rallies and demonstrations. The movement rose to prominence in the US in response to the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
Despite Trump's pledge, legal experts have stated that there is no mechanism in place for the federal government to list a domestic organization as a terrorist entity, according to the Daily Mail. The Republican president and his attorney general Bill Barr has alleged that Antifa is behind the countrywide rioting and looting amid the ongoing protests after George Floyd's death. Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, was killed after a police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes as he pleaded for his breath.
A Twitter spokesperson also to the outlet that multiple accounts on its platform are spreading misinformation online about a "coverup" and a "blackout" of protests in Washington, DC. The firm said that certain trending hashtags, which were part of a campaign that alleged that internet service providers were censoring news of protests as part of a secret plot to blackout, have also been removed. The company said that it has deactivated multiple accounts boosted by "hundreds of spammy accounts."
"We're taking action proactively on any coordinated attempts to disrupt the public conversation around this issue," the spokesperson said. "We want trends to promote healthy discussions on Twitter. This means that at times, we may prevent certain content from trending. These include trends that violate the Twitter Rules."
The nationwide protests came as four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's brutal death were fired on May 26 after a video of the incident went viral on social media. The footage showed Floyd pleading with officers as one of them, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck while the 46-year-old told them to let him stand because he could not breathe. The clip showed Floyd pleading with the officer to allow him to breathe and a few minutes later he became unconscious. Floyd's death has sparked massive protests and unrest in Minneapolis and across the country. Chauvin, 44, was arrested last week on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.