Thanks, Trump — you’ve successfully put innocent Americans in danger, not only thanks to threats of losing their health care and military threats, but you’ve also put them in danger of their personal information getting into unsavory hands.
BuzzFeed News is reporting on a massive Pastebin file, which has shown up on far right message boards on 4Chan, containing the personal information of thousands upon thousands of people associated with left wing causes.
The file is disturbingly detailed. It includes images, addresses, places of employment, and in some cases a brief life narrative.
As BuzzFeed grimly reports:
‘If you have publicly hit “attending” on a large anti-Trump protest in the last six months there’s a chance you’re on it.’
The information collectors claimed to have “hacked Antifa” — although there is no “Antifa” to hack — and they claim that “a large number of Antifa are registered with a major Bolshevik organization,” which is nothing more than pure nonsense.
Pastebin, according to BuzzFeed, “has removed the document dozens of times, but users usually put mirrors up immediately.”
The collection of names and related information actually fits into a larger campaign of harassment against left wingers. As cataloged by the Twitter account @polNewsInfinity — and BuzzFeed — alt righters have been taking a disturbingly personal interest in the lives of those they oppose. 4Chan posters have been detailing disturbing methods and thought processes behind what amounts to a toxic cocktail of profiling, stalking, and harassment.
Left wingers have played these belligerent fools’ game on occasion. For example, recently in the Pacific Northwest, social media came together to identify a man wearing a Nazi armband — who eventually got punched in the face on camera.
However, there is an obvious difference here — people on the left aren’t supporting supremacy of one group over another, whereas the alt-righters circulating this collection of info are. They are the ones “conspiring” in the shadows, not us.
There is no “Antifa” to hack. “Antifa” is not a singular organization harboring caricatured Jewish Democrats plotting how to take over the world. It is simply an umbrella term for a loose network of left wingers willing to physically confront white nationalists and their ilk. The Trump supporters behind this collection of information simply peddled the fairy tale of a centralized Antifa organization in an effort to provide some sort of demented justification for their targeting of innocent people.
This isn’t even the first time that a massive collection of left wingers’ personal information has shown up in far right online message boards. Earlier this year, the organization Refuse Fascism organized a petition described by BuzzFeed as “condemning the Trump administration and accusing it of spreading fascism.”
That petition seems to have prompted far righters to take the names on the list and look them up and catalog their information. Refuse Fascism itself responded at the time, stating:
‘We will respond to this attack by exposing to the world the nature and danger posed by these fascist cowards, by defeating their attempts to destroy people’s lives, and by bringing forward even more people to stand up against the fascist regime to say: NO! We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.’
The president, for his part, has made his allegiances clear, asserting that “fine people” are among America’s white supremacists.
Featured Image via Spencer Platt/ Getty Images.