Proud Boys Operated Fake Antifa Accounts on Facebook: Antifascist Report
Antifascists recently revealed that several members of a Proud Boys chapter managed and attacked fake Antifa pages on Facebook, the latest attempt by the Proud Boys to exacerbate anti-Antifa sentiment online with deceitful accounts.
From June 6 to July 18, Rose City Antifa and its allies in the Portland, Oregon area exposed multiple members of the Pacific Northwest Proud Boys (PNPB) in a six-part investigative series. In addition to doxxing “proud boys,” the investigation revealed that PNPB members created and/or purposely interacted with fake Antifa accounts on social media.
In Part 1, antifascists revealed that Proud Boy Robert Raymond Zerfing spread a malicious tweet by Laguna Beach Antifa on February 14. The tweet by @LagBeachAntifa7 falsely claimed that a Florida school shooter was linked to the antifascist movement.
In Part 4, Rose City Antifa found that Proud Boy Pete Venturo created a fake antifascist account called “Pat Robert Panicci” and even attempted to dress up as one.
According to the antifascist report, Venturo created the account “to defame activists who have been organizing to oppose the Nazis that Venturo has rallied with and repeatedly assisted in the past year.”
In Part 5, we see that several members of PNPB and “followers” of the Patriot Prayer organization were “apparently fooled by an obviously fake Antifa page” named Rose City Antifa.
We’re not entirely sure if these rightists knew they were reacting to a fake antifascist page, but it’s likely, considering what Rose City Antifa found in Part 6.
In the last installment of their investigative series, antifascists uncovered that Proud Boy Jacob Andrew Farmer created an “Antifa satire page” named SW Washington Antifa.
According to Rose City Antifa, SW Washington Antifa was “likely” created to “fool a number of his extremely gullible friends.” It’s also probable that Farmer’s friends already knew that he operated the satire page and attacked it anyways.
@AntifaPatton is another social media account I suspect is operated by the Proud Boys.
On May 15, the account claimed Sam Hyde, an American comedian who is ironically blamed for mass shootings, was a “member of the @ProudBoysUSA” and accused them of being a “hate group.”
On May 11, @AntifaPatton continued to target the official Proud Boys Twitter account. This time, however, the organization responded by questioning Patton’s literacy.
Like we saw in the responses to Flippo and Farmer’s fake Antifa posts, Proud Boy sympathizers attacked Patton.
Furthermore, an account named Proud Boys Texas (presumably an official organizational account) tweeted a laughable screenshot of a Facebook conversation it had with “Rose City Antifa.” This occurred on July 8.
It’s hard to believe that the official Rose City Facebook page would expose itself to ridicule via Facebook Messenger, let alone engage in a conservation with a hostile rightist. Therefore, it’s more likely that the “Rose City Antifa” in this conversation is fake and located at @RoseCityAntifaNoSnitches. (See #264 in my list of fake Antifa accounts.)
So, why would the Proud Boys create then attack fake Antifa accounts on social media? There are several possible explanations for this. Proud Boys may create fake Antifa accounts and interact with them:
- To boost their ego and perceived machismo,
- To (illegitimately) amplify the notoriety of their organization,
- And/or to show “others” that antifascists are ridiculous and hostile. This “evidence,” in turn, may be used by the Proud Boys to internally and externally justify violent acts against antifascists during protests. “Others” may include prospective members, allies, and higher ranking Proud Boys.
The organization’s reliance on “false flag” accounts to defame their enemies and promote their own people is unique, yet many questions remain.
Are these false flag accounts sanctioned by upper-level Proud Boys? How many other fake Antifa accounts were expressly created by right-wing organizations?
Just how “proud” are the Proud Boys if they feel the need to create deceitful accounts to boost their own hateful egos?