June 4, 2020 / 5:15 PM / a month ago

Fact check: Antifa Twitter account that called for violence was fake

Social media users are circulating screenshots of tweets calling for violence, purportedly posted by an account posing as a national “Antifa” organization. This claim is false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Examples of the screenshots can be seen here and here .

The tweets call for moving into residential areas and “white hoods” and contain offensive language. Some also display the hashtag “BlacklivesMaters” [sic].

Facebook told Reuters reporters that the false Antifa tweets, widely circulated as screenshots, were tied to a white nationalist group attempting to spread misinformation ( here ). Twitter did not immediately respond for comment.

It is not clear how many, if any, of the protesters participating in demonstrations across the country are from Antifa, which experts note is not an organization but rather an amorphous movement ( here ).

Antifa adherents have said they focus on defending people from attacks by authorities or vigilantes, but they have been vilified by President Donald Trump who, without citing evidence, said they were instigators of anti-police violence.

Facebook executives said on Tuesday the goal of such content is often not to win thousands of followers but to plant a single false flag that can be used to sow distrust about the target group ( here ).

On May 31, Trump said the U.S. government will designate anti-fascist group Antifa as a terrorist organization, a move that legal experts say would be hard to execute ( here ). 

NBC also recently reported that a white nationalist group, known as Identity Evropa, had posed as Antifa and called for violence on Twitter, prompting the account’s suspension ( here ).

VERDICT

False. Tweets calling for violence from an account posing as a national Antifa organization are false.

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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