American Odyssey
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American Odyssey

[Brief] As Wildfires Rage, Fake Antifa Accounts Spread Potentially Deadly Disinfo

On Twitter, at least two fake antifa accounts have claimed antifascists are behind the Oregon wildfires, which have reportedly killed at least 9 people and displaced tens of thousands of others in the state.

Burned out fire truck on Oregon Route 22 near Detroit, Oregon. Photo by the Oregon Department of Transportation via Flickr

On the evening of September 10, a Twitter account purporting to be an antifascist group in Scarsdale, New York, wrote that they and other antifa “chapters” around Oregon started fires to “draw attention to the climate emergency.”

Scarsdale Antifa is #7 in my list of fake antifa accounts.

About two hours later, another known fake antifa account—Antifa Hamptons, NYcongratulated Scarsdale on the news, adding that now “it’s going to be hard for the deniers to ignore… climate change.”

Some users replied to Scarsdale’s tweet by tagging various federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

Others threatened Scarsdale and, by extension, antifascists, with one user writing that they should prepare “to feel the wrath of country folk” and “we don’t play fair and shoot first.”

Scarsdale’s tweet was also shared on Facebook, TheDonald.win, and 4chan, where some users reacted by calling for violence against antifascists and communists.

Comments like these further desensitize users to the idea of harming antifascists.

Scarsdale Antifa has been suspended — but the damage has already been done.

You see, Scarsdale was hardly a “parody” account, as some have called it.

It was an account that further tarnished antifa’s image by portraying them as terrorists, which could lead to even more real-world violence against antifascist activists. A quick look at the comments above should dispel any doubt of the danger the tweet poses to antifascists.

Furthermore, the Scarsdale tweet and screenshots of it have added fuel to the fake “antifa is behind the wildfires” claim, disinformation, FBI Portland said in a statement on September 11, that takes “valuable resources away [from] local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control.”

So, no, Scarsdale Antifa was not a parody account because parodies don’t put people at risk of injury or death.

This was a disinfo op designed to hurt Americans.

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