Social Media Used to Identify Charlottesville Protesters
People are turning to social media to identify white supremacists who attended last weekend’s violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members, came to protest planned removal of a Confederate statue.
Heather Heyer was killed when a man drove his car into a group of counter protesters. Police said the driver was James Alex Fields Jr., described by a former teacher as a Nazi supporter. He is being held in jail on murder and other criminal charges.
The Twitter account YesyoureRacist ran photos of people attending the protest organized under a “Unite the Right“ banner. It asks people to identify the people pictured in the photos.
At least 10 people have been identified, as of Thursday. YesyoureRacist’s followers increased from about 60,000 before the Charlottesville protests to over 400,000.
Logan Smith of North Carolina is the man behind the YesyoureRacist Twitter account. Smith started the account five years ago to report on racist comments about former President Barack Obama. As a white man, Smith said he believes people should be held responsible for racist and anti-Semitic speech.
Smith works for a liberal group in North Carolina. Smith said he is receiving threats of violence against him and his family.
The burning sticks carried on the University of Virginia campus Friday night were photographed and shown widely on social media and in television and newspaper news reports. It reminded some people of Nazi Party rallies in Germany before and during World War II.
The sticks are made by TIKI Brand. The company put out this statement on Facebook:
“TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place,“ the company said.
I'm Jill Robins. And I'm Bruce Alpert.
Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English based on reports by the Associated Press, Reuters and other sources. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story
white supremacist - n. person who believes whites are better than blacks and other races
counter protesters - n. people protesting a protest by a group with different opinions
disturbing - adj. very troubling
credible - adj. believable
accountable - adj. required to be responsible for something
uncomfortable - adj. making a person feel bad or uneasy
vehemently - adv. very strongly
associate - v. connected to someone or something