Jack Posobiec is a prominent member of the Nazi brigade that identifies as the “alt-right.” Posobiec was one of the chief purveyors of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory—which led a man to fire an AR-15 in a Washington D.C. pizzeria that Posobiec and his ilk had claimed was a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton. Lest you think this is just some random internet person, Donald Trump retweeted Posobiec. Years ago, he would be dismissed as a fringe wingnut undeserving of a newsworthy post like this. But because the Republican Party mostly consists of fringe wingnuts now (with him being one of the most influential), this saga must be highlighted—at the very least to demonstrate how Twitter is one of the chief enablers of hatred and division in America.
This comes on the heels of Twitter verifying Jason Kessler, the organizer of the white nationalist unite the right rally in Charlottesville. Posobiec is claiming that he isn't responsible for the doxxing, as he simply shared Heavy.com's article with the information. This is a specious argument at best, considering Heavy.com has less than 20,000 followers and Posobiec sent that information out to his over 220,000 followers. The bottom line is that Twitter amplifies hate speech from subhumans like Posobiec and Kessler, and the blue checkmark next to their names is an implicit endorsement of their worldview. After the outrage blew up over Kessler's verification, Twitter issued a half-assed apology.
This is a telling moment for Twitter, and if Posobiec still gets to maintain his blue checkmark status, let alone his account, Twitter will essentially be endorsing the intimidation of assault victims. If you’re disturbed by this episode, take a few seconds to report Posobiec. Go to his profile, then click on the three dots to the top right, select “report @JackPosobiec” and answer Twitter’s questions about the nature of the report. Soon we’ll see where Twitter’s priorities truly lie.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.