Antifa Twitter accounts are being suspended and some are calling for revenge

Source: Hot Air

The Intercept published a story yesterday titled “Left-Wing Voices Are Silenced on Twitter as Far-Right Trolls Advise Elon Musk.” Like the article itself the headline is a bit vague on what is happening and why. What is clear is that over the past few days a bunch of well-known anti-fascist accounts have been suspended.

Several prominent antifascist organizers and journalists have had their accounts suspended in the past week, after right-wing operatives appealed directly to Musk to ban them and far-right internet trolls flooded Twitter’s complaints system with false reports about terms of service violations.

As the Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin noted on Twitter, the suspended users include Chad Loder, an antifascist researcher whose open-source investigation of the U.S. Capitol riot led to the identification and arrest of a masked Proud Boy who attacked police officers. The account of video journalist Vishal Pratap Singh, who reports on far-right protests in Southern California, has also been suspended.

Among the other prominent accounts suspended were the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club, an antifascist group that provides armed security for LGBTQ+ events in North Texas, and CrimethInc, an anarchist collective that has published and distributed anarchist and anti-authoritarian zines, books, posters, and podcasts since the mid-1990s.

All four accounts had been singled out for criticism by Andy Ngo, a far-right writer whose conspiratorial, error-riddled reporting on left-wing protests and social movements fuels the mass delusion that a handful of small antifascist groups are part of an imaginary shadow army called “antifa.” In a public exchange on Twitter on Friday, Musk invited Ngo to report “Antifa accounts” that should be suspended directly to him.

Here’s the exchange between Ngo and Musk:

And Ngo proceeded to do so, starting with @crimethinc, one of the accounts that has now been suspended.

Hours later the account had been suspended and Ngo started noticing calls for revenge attacks on Tesla:


And some antifa accounts were upset that a call to action had publicly preceded the attacks (2nd tweet below).

Again, a motive hasn’t been confirmed yet but the timing seems suspicious.

Some of the banned accounts have since moved over to Mastodon and started posting there instead. But the Intercept’s description of why some of these accounts were suspended is written in such a way that, unless you follow the links, you don’t ever see what these accounts were actually posting. For instance, Vishal Pratap Singh’s suspension is described this way:

Days before Singh’s account was suspended, Ngo had posted screenshots of some of the journalist’s angry tweets along with this misleading, factually incorrect summary: “Vishal Singh, an #Antifa far-left violent extremist in Los Angeles who identifies as a journalist, is calling for deadly violence again.” Singh is a left-wing journalist but did not call for violence in the tweets shared by Ngo, and is not violent.

But What Singh actually wrote seems a lot closer to the line: “Liberals who appease transphobes have gone too far. That’s it. We’re done. We’re fighting back. It will be militant. You will not genocide us into the night. You want a war? You’ve got it.” And also, his comments to LibsofTikTok: “Shut the f**k up you terrorist Nazi f**ker. You will live in fear for the rest of your life.” Sorry, but I don’t think he’s speaking metaphorically here in either case.

There’s more which again you’ll only see if you follow the links. The Intercept claims “Last year, after Singh was attacked twice by far-right anti-vaccine protesters and lashed out in self-defense, Ngo posted a misleadingly captioned video and falsely accused Singh of being the aggressor.” In fact, that’s not what the linked tweet says. It shows Singh taking a swing at someone and then getting punched in the face.

As you can see, Andy Ngo refers to him as a “battery arrestee” which is accurate according to a link the Intercept posted.

Singh told freelance journalist Sean Beckner-Carmitchel in an interview that half-way through the line up, a deputy came into the room and placed him under arrest. He was held in custody for approximately 4 hours and ultimately charged with two counts of assault and battery, one of which was connected to the incident at Harlowe.

Suffice it to say the Intercept’s description of Singh’s activities and Andy Ngo’s coverage seems a bit selective and slanted respectively. Singh certainly seems to celebrate violence against his opponents.

I support free speech but there is a line to be drawn at incitement and planning violence and that’s clearly part of what these anti-fascist accounts are about. But I doubt this is the end of this story. We’ll have to wait and see how they respond. My guess is with more violence.