What’s more, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which things begin to improve between rival factions.
A sign of our divided times is the rise of Antifa, a loosely-aligned Marxist-Left group of political agitators who came to prominence during the heady days of Donald Trump’s rise in the ranks of GOP presidential contenders and his eventual presidential nomination.
At rally after rally, Trump supporters weren’t just heckled by Antifa members, they were very often attacked, and violently so. In fact, the attacks became so violent and so frequent that even President Obama’s FBI and Department of Homeland Security would eventually characterize Antifa-related violence as ‘domestic terrorism.’
But despite these well-documented incidents of violence, not only was Donald Trump blamed, but groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which supposedly monitor hate-related violence, have refused to label Antifa hate group.
Now, thanks to a new report, we know why.
A team of researchers led by Eoin Lenihan, of Stuttgart, Germany, a former teacher who is now an analyst concentrating on online extremism, found that despite Antifa’s well-known acts of violence, reporters and staffers with HuffPost, The Guardian, and the SPLC have nevertheless maintained contact with Antifa activists, PJ Media reported.
Lenihan says that his team “mapped the social interactions of 58,254 Antifa affiliated Twitter accounts based on an initial seed of 16 self-identifying and verifiable Antifa accounts (and Mark Bray who chose not to confirm if he is a member of Antifa but whose book makes a solid case for inclusion).”
He added: “We reduced the dataset to 1.65% of all 58,254 accounts - leaving us with 962 accounts. These were the 1.65% most connected Antifa and Antifa associated accounts on Twitter. Each had a minimum of 8 connections within the initial dataset, most having many more.”
PJ Media noted further:
After mentioning a few journalists with close Antifa connections and Twitter bios mentioning their anti-fascist affiliation, Lenihan turned to Emily Gorcenski, who "uses Twitter to dox those she deems fascist. Further she created the 'First Vigil' website that processes court documents to share the personal information of suspected members of the far right. In cases where people are found innocent (50%), info is still shared.”
Lenihan then turned his attention to journalists and staffers who work for the aforementioned press outlets and SPLC. (Related: FBI probing armed far-Left Antifa plot to disrupt U.S.-Mexico border in attempt to spark anti-government rebellion.)
“Jason Wilson writes for the Guardian. In a recent piece in which he reports on an intelligence report by the ROCIC which states that Antifa are responsible for street violence just as the far right are, he heavily relies on Mark Bray as a primary source to attack the report," Lenihan tweeted.
"Mark Bray - also in the top 2% of our dataset - & author of Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook (he donated 50% of profits to the Antifa International Defence Fund) is a recurring Wilson source in his columns. Together they downplay Antifa violence & extremism in The Guardian.”
He also notes that Christopher Mathias, a senior reporter for the far-Left HuffPost who “specializes in the Far Right,” recently ‘exposed’ alleged members of Identity Evropa, a white supremacist group. But when he wrote about them, he did not yet know if they were innocent or guilty; he got their information from an Antifa sources and “took them from there,” Dr. Lenihan noted.
Lenihan also wrote on Twitter that Mathias exposed a “prominent white supremacist,” which led to an investigation of the man. The subject of Mathias’ garbage report was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to work.
Finally, Lenihan (who calls white supremacists “despicable people”) noted of the top 2 percent of Twitter users with close ties to Antifa extremists is "chief investigative reporter for the SPLC Matthew Hayden.”