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Fact check: Antifa.com does redirect to Joebiden.com, but this is not proof of a link between the two

Social media posts imply Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden supports or is supported by anti-fascist group Antifa because the URL antifa.com redirects to joebiden.com. As of this fact check’s publication, antifa.com does redirect users to joebiden.com, but this is not proof of a connection among the two.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

One viral post with over 67,000 shares is visible here . It reads, “if you go to Antifa.com, it takes you directly to joe bidens webpage....whats that tell ya...try it yourself.” Other popular examples can be seen here and here .

Several top officials from the Trump administration, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr, have blamed Antifa and other “agitators” for taking over the protests in U.S. cities. It is not clear how many, if any, of the protesters participating in demonstrations across the country are from Antifa, which experts say is not an organization but rather an amorphous movement (here).

Whois.net, a website that displays public information related to domain ownership (www.whois.net/), says that antifa.com is registered to NameCheap, Inc., a domain registration and web-hosting platform (www.namecheap.com/).

By using Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (here: rb.gy/d2scrf), the earliest snapshot available where the page redirects to JoeBiden.com is August 8, 2020 (here: rb.gy/hsfyr5). The previous snapshot, from July 24, 2020 leads to a page titled “We Are Antifa: Join Us & Take Action,” and describes messages typically associated with the group (here: rb.gy/nwh30s). This site links to a YouTube channel (here) and a Twitter account that is now suspended (twitter.com/AntifaWebsite).

Mashable, a culture and tech news outlet, explained the ease with which any domain owner can forward visitors on to other websites: “The owner of a domain name can redirect their domain name to any webpage […]  It’s an easy process that just requires that you type in the URL you want your domain to redirect to in your registrar’s administration panel.” (here)

Mashable explains, “Could it still mean Joe Biden’s campaign runs the domain? It could. But it could also mean that the Trump campaign or someone supportive of it did the same just to cause a little controversy.” They add, “It could also just be the work of a troll, a comedy group, or even someone just looking to add value to the domain when they look to sell it.” Essentially, “The point is the redirect on its own doesn’t mean anything.” (here)

While this could have been put in place by the Biden campaign, it would make little sense for them to have done so. Biden has condemned violence from the right and the left (here). Biden also said, following the shooting of Jacob Blake, that protesting police brutality “is absolutely necessary, but burning down communities is not.” (here)

Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, often using aggressive tactics, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists ( here ). Horizontal in nature and largely lacking official organization, it is unclear how Antifa is funded, if at all (here). 

Its horizontal nature and lack of clear leadership makes it impossible to confirm the claims or officially contact Antifa as a group. One Facebook page called Antifa International (here) told Reuters in a statement it didn’t believe the group is getting involved with the elections because “Antifa doesn’t support any politician.” A Twitter account called Antifa Checker (twitter.com/AntifaChecker) that says it filters true from false information about Antifa online told Reuters it believed “Antifa.com was registered by a troll at some point.”

VERDICT

Partly false. While antifa.com does redirect to Joebiden.com, there is no evidence of a connection between the two.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here . 

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