Monday, August 12, 2019

Why Is the Right So Goddamn Gullible?

Last week, there were two hoaxes circulated on the right wing Twitterverse, and one of them might have some really stupid consequences. First, Quillette published a fabricated account of an infiltration of a DSA meeting. Second, idiots have been circulating a fabricated false flag antifa event.

Quillette, a publication of the iNteLLeCtUaL dArK wEb, published this piece without much fact checking. Apparently, they had only received an anonymous email from a man calling himself "Archie Carter" claiming to be a blue collar communist. The editors published this piece without question because it confirmed their worldview that the left are censorious wackos who want to subjugate white men.

NYC DSA scoured its member rolls and found no Archie Carter anywhere. Attendees of the meeting described contradicted basic facts from the story. Turns out, it was a guy who describes himself as a "left populist" from Illinois.

The second hoax is a little more dangerous. A flier was circulating claiming that on August 17th, antifascists would dress up as "PATRIOTS/TRUMP SUPPORTERS" and start a riot. The first giveaway of this hoax was that the flier was a reproduction of a previous flier calling for the same on November 4th (2016 according to a source who seems to have unironically posted it). The second giveaway is that anti-fascists would never call anyone a "patriot" much less refer to the right as "trump supporters."

This one is kind of dangerous in a number of ways. First, real Trump supporters could plausibly do this, and the right would be able to blame it on antifa. Second, there's no reason to believe this wouldn't blow up on the far right blogosphere and make its way to that launderer of fascist content, Tucker Carlson and directly into Trump's ears. We don't need any more of that "terrorist" shit.

The Quillette has retracted the story under public pressure and an overwhelming mountain of evidence. The August 17 hoax remains debunked only by anti-fascists, whom the far right echo chamber inherently disbelieve. We'll see.