Leaked documents from white nationalist chat rooms reveal members are attempting to compile a dossier of private information about Antifa members and plan to leak it to encourage harassment and violence. The chat logs also reveal that many neo-Nazis are increasingly concerned about their own prospects of being outed as white nationalists, and are considering fleeing to darker corners of the internet such as the Deep Web to prevent that from happening.
Screenshots of the chat rooms on the platform Discord were leaked to Unicorn Riot, which describes itself as a “decentralized media collective”, by an anonymous source. The source posted a trove of information in the wake of a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one counter-protester dead, including how attendees reportedly planned and hoped for a violent confrontation at the event, a so-called “Unite the Right” rally.
The chat room “Pony Power” was created on Discord five days after the Charlottesville protests. Over the course of 10 days, users discussed ways to compile a dossier listing all known Antifa members, complete with Facebook profiles, email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses and at least one social security number.
“We’re going to SPLC style these fuckers”, one user named “oxycolton” posted on Discord, referring to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s tactic of compiling information on known white supremacists. There was also discussion as to whether it was worth putting individual names on Gab – a platform favored by white supremacists – or waiting until they had compiled a “full database”.
“Guys we need a morale booster for our side,” commented “Klaus Albricht.” “We need to dig up some of the faces of their side and focus a little less right now on the footsoldiers. They will continue gaining footsoldiers when the faces of their movement are left unchecked.”
“We need to separate states by regions and have a set amount of people work on it by region by doxing Antifa, and then work on other regions, or have multiple different teams per region,” they added.
The screenshots also show a concerted effort by members to create a hidden platform which will allow white nationalists to stay in the dark and communicate freely. The platform gab.ai has proven extremely popular over the last few months for far right posters but there are concerns that it might be “infiltrated” as its reach grows.
On the “Pony Power” Discord chat room, “Klaus Albricht” gave a detailed rundown of the technological steps that he and fellow white supremacists could take to stay hidden, including hosting the site in a country like Russia or making secure VPN networks. Another user posted a link to Vanguard Britannia, the U.K. chapter of a neo-Nazi group to which suspected Charlottesville attacker James Fields—who allegedly rammed his car into a counter-protester, killing her—belonged.
The practice of finding someone’s personal information and publishing it online—called “doxing”—has long been a tactic of internet trolls; sites like 4chan and Twitter have helped the far right turn doxing into a mainstream tactic for white supremacists looking to threaten their enemies.
After bystander Brennan Gilmore posted a video of Fields allegedly ramming his car into the group of protesters in Charlottesville, for instance, he was doxed and began receiving hate mail on social media. “I was followed and accosted on the street in Charlottesville, and there have been many attempts to hack into my online accounts,” he told Politico. “One site posted all of my known addresses and family members, including the house I grew up in, where my parents still live.”
Earlier this month the tech startup Equality Labs created an explainer for activists on how to protect themselves from doxing. Chief among the recommendations are changing all existing passwords and turning on two-factor authentication for all online accounts.