Chat logs obtained from message boards used by neo-Nazis and other far-right groups show a concerted effort to compile private information on leftist enemies and circulate the data to encourage harassment or violence.
The messages were obtained by an anonymous source, who infiltrated and gained the trust of white nationalists and other right wingers and has been leaking the material to Unicorn Riot, a “decentralized media collective” that emerged from leftist protest movements.
The chat logs originate from various web discussion communities hosted by the provider Discord and closed to the public. The communities, which have names like “Vibrant Diversity,” “Ethnoserver,” “Safe Space 3,” “4th Reich,” and “Charlottesville 2.0,” range from having 36 users to 1,269 users. The most active, with nearly a quarter million messages over seven months, is “Vibrant Diversity,” a neo-Nazi community forum that includes a channel called “#oven,” where users share racist memes. The 4th Reich server, the second most active, has 130,000 messages over the course of four months, and includes a channel called “#rare_hitlers,” where users share propaganda posters and other glorified media from Nazi Germany. The “Charlottesville 2.0” server, which contains 35,000 messages, is where the Unite the Right hate rally in Charlottesville was organized.
This article is based solely on chat logs from a community called “Pony Power” (Unicorn Riot published the logs yesterday). The Pony Power server has 50 users, and the chat logs contain just over one thousand messages, posted over the course of 10 days and ranging in topic from far-right politics to advice about digital and operational security to debates about the legal limits of online behavior. The primary activity on the Pony Power server is posting private information like names, photos, home addresses, and phone numbers of dozens of anti-fascist activists.
Victims of the outings, also known as “doxings,” described reactions ranging from terror to anger to annoyance and have variously turned to friends and family for support and locked down their accounts. They said the Pony Power doxing campaign is just the latest in a series of online efforts by neo-Nazis and their allies to marginalize their opponents. The information compiled on Pony Power hasn’t yet been distributed to the larger right-wing extremist community. However, doxing efforts associated with prior online hate campaigns have forced targets to leave their homes in the face of death threats, rape threats, and other forms of harassment. And those attacks were mounted even before President Donald Trump came to power on the back of racist attacks against his predecessor, against Mexicans, and against Muslims, and before he embraced white nationalists or encouraged violence against protesters at campaign rallies.
People chatting on the Pony Power server spoke openly, as though behind closed doors, often using offensive slurs. So be warned, some of the following conversations are hard to stomach.