After releasing an updated policy on what it takes to get banned earlier this week, Twitter permanently ousted several white supremacist accounts from its website. And now, some of those very same people are planning to make numerous “fake Black people” accounts to protest Twitter’s crackdown.
Twitter’s new anti-harassment policy was released Tuesday, Nov. 15, and immediately afterward, they permanently deleted several high-profile accounts that are associated with white supremacists and white nationalists, generally referred to as the alt-right movement. Among the accounts banned was the one of Richard B. Spencer of National Policy Institute fame, who coined the term “alt-right” in 2008.
Because of these recent changes, noted white supremacist Andrew Anglin of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer called for a campaign to counter this, telling his readers to create fake Twitter accounts:
“When you have time, create a fake black person account. Just go on black Twitter and see what they look like, copy that model. Start filling it with rap videos and booty-shaking or whatever else these blacks post. Read through their posts to get an idea of how they post. You need to be able to post in a manner which is indistinguishable from normal black tweeters.”
Anglin said that he and his followers have managed to make more than 1,000 accounts of “fake Black people.” He said all of these accounts have a diversified tweet history, pictures and, according to him, seem genuine. The website thenextweb.com reported that this rally to flood Twitter with white supremacists posing as Black people is quickly spreading to other alt-right, white nationalist and white supremacist pages and sites.
The new guidelines prohibit attacks or threats “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease.”
Twitter’s policy change comes after years of criticism of how Twitter did not address racism, hate speech or any other demonstration of harassment, a recent example of which being the racist attacks on Black comedienne Leslie Jones. Additionally, Twitter, as well as other sites like Reddit, have been a contributing and important factor in the rapid expansion and organization of the white supremacist “alt-right” movement.
In fact, a study from the George Washington University says that the number of accounts belonging to those who identify themselves as alt-right, neo-Nazis and/or white nationalists has skyrocketed by more over 600 percent since 2012. This rate, it is noted in the study, is higher than accounts belonging to ISIS members, sympathizers and supporters: “Today, [white nationalist Twitter accounts] outperform Isis in nearly every social metric, from follower counts to tweets per day.”
It is unclear whether they plan to inundate Twitter with these false accounts in order to perpetuate racist Black stereotypes or as a Trojan Horse to continue their racist platform.