How The Left, The Anti Defamation League and Media Used …

Posted By on March 30, 2018

Immediately after the police identified the suspect in the Florida high school massacre, as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, the media began to scour social media, desperate to find any ties Cruz may have had to the Right. In the medias narrow minds, you cant be a gun ownerand not be tied to the Republican Party. The Republican Party and the NRA must be held accountable, and they must be held accountable at all costs, even at the cost of being accurate or truthful. When the media couldnt find any facts to report, they immediately began to scour social media for hints. What they got was a bunch of social media trolls who thought it would be funny to lead the mainstream media on with lies about the shooter. The mainstream media and the Anti Defamation League (who ironically, claims to defend people who are victims of discrimination, yet works overtime to demonize anyone whose views are to the right of theirs), had to settle for fake ties to the massacre suspect and white supremacist group in Tallahassee, Florida.

Unfortunately, both the media and the Anti Defamation Leagues stories quickly fell apart when they were outed for not having done their homework to properly vet the comments made on an open chat, social media platform called 4Chan.

On Thursday afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League reported that a white supremacist group claimed ties with Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to the shooting spree that killed at least 17 people, including many high-school students, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

From the Anti Defamation Leagues website:

A spokesperson for the white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF) claimed tothe Anti-Defamation League on Thursday, February 15, that Nikolas Cruz, the man charged with the previous days deadly shooting spree at a Parkland, Florida, high school, was associated with his group.

UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, following news reports of the alleged association between Cruz and the Republic of Florida, a member of an alt right discussion forum wrote that all of the claims were false and were part of an elaborate attempt to troll a network news reporter and other media outlets. At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Broward County sheriff said aconnection was not confirmed at this time, but that law enforcement was still investigating.

Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, allegedly entered the school Wednesday, February 14 with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing at least 17 people and injuring 14 more. Cruz left the scene but was later captured by police and has been charged with premeditated murder.

Afterself-described ROF members claimed on the discussion forum 4chan that Cruz had also been a member, the Anti-Defamation League spoke with an ROF member who identified himself as Jordan Jereb.

Jereb, based in Tallahassee, is believed to be the leader of ROF. In 2016, he was arrested on charges of threatening a staffer in the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott because he was allegedly angry at the staffers son.

Jereb said that Cruz was associated with ROF, having been brought up by another member. Jereb also claimedthat Cruz had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, carpooling with other ROF members from south Florida.

ROF has members in north and south Florida. The alt right white supremacist group borrows paramilitary concepts from the anti-government extremist militia movement (not itself a white supremacist movement). ROF describes itself as a white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics and seeks to create a white ethnostate in Florida. Most ROF members are young and the group itself is only a few years old.

Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or wanted Cruz to do anything like the school shooting.

If Cruzs role is confirmed, the Parkland school shooting would be the second school shooting by a white supremacist in the past two months. In December 2017, another young white supremacist, William Atchison, engaged in a shooting spree at a high school in northwest New Mexico, killing two students before shooting himself.

What we know about ROF (the Republic of Florida):

A spokesperson for the white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF) told the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday, February 15, that Nikolas Cruz [.] was associated with his group, the ADL reported. The ADL quoted a man named Jordan Jereb, who runs the small group, which is based in Tallahassee.

Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or wanted Cruz to do anything like the school shooting, the ADL wrote in a blog post that was quickly picked up by ABC News and The Associated Press, and later percolated through dozens of other media outlets. Even The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, picked up the claim.

Some outlets reported they had their own conversations with Jereb or classmates of Cruz who allegedly corroborated the association of Cruz with ROF.

But a few hours later, after law enforcement agencies said they had no evidence linking Cruz to ROF, Jereb said his identification of Cruz was a misunderstanding and that he, too, had been the subject of a prank. On online forums and Twitter, trolls and white nationalists gloated at the disinformation they had sowed.

Politicoreports- All of our evidence seems to point to the ADL getting this wrong, said Joan Donovan, a researcher who tracks online misinformation campaigns for Data & Society, a think tank in New York City.The ADL subsequently revised its report, as did many news outlets.

ADL shared information from our experts on extremism and claims from white supremacist that we believed could be helpful to both law enforcement and the public due to the fluid and evolving nature of the events, an ADL spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. Confirmation of whether Cruz was part of ROF is now in the hands of law enforcement, and thats what the Broward sheriffs team is looking into.

The ADL traced its original tip to posts on 4chan, where researchers found self-described ROF members claiming that Cruz was a brother-in-arms. But many of those posts seem to have been written specifically to deceive reporters and researchers.

On Wednesday, an anonymous 4chan user posted about receiving a message on Instagram from an ABC News reporter after making a joke suggesting he knew Cruz.

Prime trolling opportunity, another user replied.

You have to take advantage of this, a third chimed in.

He asked for proof of the reporters identity, according to posted screenshots from their correspondence. The reporter provided an official email address and sent a photo of an ABC identification badge.

Some on the 4chan thread joked about sending back obscene photos, but others gave concrete tips for tricking the reporter: Keep talking to her so she gains your trust; Keep this going be realistic say you have known him for years you met him on a Liberal Facebook page years ago and you have kept in touch; Say you are scared to tell her in case you get blamed, it will get her excited you know something big.

This particular 4chan user seems to have sent the reporter a racist cartoon and was quickly blocked. Many on the forum ripped into him for missing a a golden opportunity.

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How The Left, The Anti Defamation League and Media Used …

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