MANILA, Philippines – Members of 4chan are spreading anti-Semitic messages and other propaganda on Twitter by pretending to be Jews.
According to Yair Rosenberg, a senior writer for Tablet magazine, the posts on 4chan called for members on the /pol board to make fake profiles on social media, using photographs of real Jewish profile to represent their new personas.
The post calling for impersonators to spread disinformation touted the use of Jewish personas as an online shield against people calling them out.
The impersonator, the poster said, could accuse those calling them out of being anti-Semites to cloud the issue further.
1. Three days ago on 4chan, a popular post called for a "massive movement of fake Jewish profiles on Facebook, Twitter etc": pic.twitter.com/lYEmsIhdYg — (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 19, 2019 2. After the call went out on 4chan, a network of new Twitter accounts run by white supremacists pretending to be Jews popped up. Often, they masquerade as Orthodox Jews, Israelis and/or Jewish leftists. They all follow each other and promote anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content. pic.twitter.com/rA2cFBm8jW — (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 19, 2019 3. These are all fake profiles made with stolen photos of real Jews, pilfered to promote hatred of Jewish people and the Jewish state. Some more examples: pic.twitter.com/WCnHVUh1Gl — (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 19, 2019 4. You might think these Nazis impersonating Jews are comical. After all, how such bad must their real lives be that they spend their time online pretending to be Jewish? But Jews are just 2% of the US population & most folks have never met one, so can be easily fooled by trolls. pic.twitter.com/tIRu5XPy21 — (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 19, 2019 5. This is not a new problem. Years ago, I built a bot with @ChandraNeal that exposed white supremacists masquerading as Jews, Muslims, and other minorities on Twitter. Then Twitter banned ... the bot. https://t.co/AJIG64C890 https://t.co/WBjtCs4JBD — (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 19, 2019
The 4chan campaign was similar to earlier attempts to divide people by provoking fights inside particular communities.
Rosenberg has had an extended battle against fakers of this sort.
With the help of developer Neal Chandra, Rosenberg developed a bot to track fake profiles passing as Jews, Muslims, or other minorities. It was hoped the bot would spur Twitter to act against fake profiles, but the company instead took the bot down. – Rappler.com
Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.