UPDATE: 2:50 p.m.: The person behind @yesyoureracist is named Logan Smith, and he just went on CNN to explain to Brooke Baldwin why as a White man he is devoting so much time to exposing people who took part in the violent Neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia. Smith explained that he believes he has more responsibility as a Caucasian to stand up and call out others stepping over the line.
The protests this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere have brought to light what is different in the internet age, and that is the ability of people at home, simply armed with WiFi to take part in a protest. This includes a Twitter account called @YesYoureRacist, which has taken it upon itself to identify as many of the participants in the Saturday night Charlottesville protest that included mostly men armed with tiki torches.
The @YesYoureRacist Twitter account, which has jumped to 271,000 followers over the weekend, opens up with a line explaining its purpose.
“If you have to start a sentence with ‘I’m not racist, but…’ then chances are you’re pretty racist. This isn’t a bot. RT≠endorsement, obviously.”
It describes its geographic location, likely for safety purposes, as being in “a dark corner of the internet,” but despite being a member since 2012, @YesYoureRacist has taken on a new challenge over the weekend: to identify those who marched with a racist agenda, with posters praising the Nazi Party, the KKK, and other hate groups, while disparaging the Black Lives Matter Movement as well as Jews and Muslims.
The moderator, who is remaining nameless, has jokingly asked those who appreciate his or her work to perhaps buy him or her a drink.
“Digging through racist tweets every day is pretty draining… If you enjoy this project, consider buying me a beer?”
And the owner of the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account and its followers have successfully identified a number of the people marching with the self-described alt-right group, and one man, Cole White, has been fired as a result before the end of the weekend. Press accounts are saying that the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account is in the business of “naming and shaming” those who attended the rally and outing them on social media, and that includes Cole White.
White has now been fired from a hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, California. White’s photo, complete with tiki torch, was posted on the site.
“Cole White, from California, allegedly works at Top Dog in Berkely.”
Shortly after the post appeared on the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account, the owners of Top Dog released a statement.
“Effective Saturday, August 12, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone.”
The @YesYoureRacist call to action identified several others at the rally, including Peter Cvjetanovic, who was photographed screaming with a torch in hand. The moderator of the page has offered to make all of the alt-right protestors “famous.”
“If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in #Charlottesville, send me their names/profiles and I’ll make them famous #GoodNightAltRight”
But Peter Cvjetanovic isn’t hiding and, in fact, has been photographed before at the side of Republican Senator Dean Heller, who now insists he doesn’t know the alt-right protestor. Prior to being outed on the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account, Cvjetanovic spoke out about his feelings about promoting his “White, European culture.”
“I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture. As a white nationalist, I care for all people. We all deserve a future for our children and for our culture.”
Peter Cvjetanovic is now saying that he didn’t expect the photo of him yelling and holding the tiki torch to be shared on the internet and is upset that he is being identified on Twitter as “angry torch guy.”
This morning on Good Morning America, @YesYoureRacist was featured and credited with identifying a number of the men in the photo, which made the rounds of all of the news agencies. The Twitter user was also credited for finding a photo that showed the man who drove into a crowd of protestors, killing one while he was still surrounded by his White Pride group.
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The @YesYoureRacist Twitter account also identified a man named James Allsup, a student at Washington State University. Allsup’s social media accounts were identified, including his messages which urged others to join him in Charlottesville.
“This is James Allsup — speaker at the alt-right rally, Wash State U. College Republicans president, and one of
@bakedalaska’s racist homies.”
The post caused several followers of @YesYoureRacist to send tweets to the president of Washington State University to examine the behavior of Allsup.
What do you think of the @YesYoureRacist Twitter account? Do you think it’s right that they are identifying men at the rally?
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]