An Elon University professor has devised a “secret weapon” to fight “far-right extremists” on behalf of Antifa — she’s made software to keep tabs on 400,000 Facebook accounts whom she suspects to be members of the alt-right.
And she’s using that program to dox anyone she deems a “far-right extremist.”
A new Wired Magazine article, published on Tuesday, highlights the work of Megan Squire, a 45-year-old professor of computer science at Elon University, whose program feeds data to the hyper-partisan organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — as well as a “left-wing activist who she knew might take more radical action.”
The magazine reports that the SPLC’s analysts then use the information she gives them to “provide information to police or to reveal white supremacists to their employers, seeking to get them fired.”
The SPLC’s penchant for recklessly referring to organizations as “hate groups” previously resulted in a domestic terror attack on the Family Research Council. The group’s headquarters was attacked in 2012 by a shooter who cited the SPLC’s “hate map,” which identified the FRC as a “hate group” alongside the Ku Klux Klan and Stormfront for its support of traditional marriage.
The anonymous left-wing activist, states Wired, posts the identities of the people whose information she gives him, along with their photographs, “for the public to do with what it would.”
Squire also shares her data with the far-left militia group, Redneck Revolt, where it reportedly “gets used in somewhat less official ways.”
“Before a neo-Nazi rally in Boston this past November, Squire provided local antifa groups with a list of 94 probable white nationalist attendees that included their names, Facebook profiles, and group affiliations,” reports Wired.
The so-called “neo-Nazi” rally, as referred to by Wired, was no more than a peaceful free speech rally held by Republican pro-Trump supporters, and conservative groups like Resist Marxism and Boston Free Speech.
On a recently published post on Squire’s blog, the professor classifies what constitutes a “far-right extremist” by 12 different ideologies. She uses a variety of keywords to identify so-called extremists, including popular terms like “anti-SJW,” “anti-Obama,” “No Sharia Law,” “rebel,” patriot,” and even “kek.”
As Far Left Watch notes, the vague keywords offer no guarantee that most of the 400,000 individuals on her list are “far-right extremists.” Furthermore, even if they were, vigilante action taken by Antifa supporters against any of these people could result in harm to both innocent people marked as targets, or their assailants.
The Wired article states that Squire herself does not identify as a member of Antifa, but they rank among her strongest allies. Squire is reportedly “sympathetic” to the DHS-designateddomestic terror group’s “goal of silencing racist extremists and is unwilling to condemn their use of violence, describing it as a last resort among a “diversity of tactics.”
“She’s an intelligence operative of sorts in the battle against far-right extremism, passing along information to those who might put it to real-world use. Who might weaponize it,” Wired claims.
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.