A large scale social media campaign is attempting to identify those who attended the Charlottesville white supremacist march last week with the aim of getting them sacked from their jobs.
A number of popular Facebook pages and Twitter feeds – including the Yes, You’re Racist Twitter account with 360,000 followers – are posting close up photos of those that marched along with the caption “Do you know me? Are you my employer?”
According to reports, one man who attended the march, Cole White, has already been dismissed (possibly a “voluntary” resignation) from his job at a Top Dog restaurant in Berkley, California, shortly after he was identified as attending.
Others that attended the far-right “Unite the Right” rally have seen their photos shared many thousands of times, with one photo nearing a quarter million at the time of writing, all with captions asking others to help identify them.
The social media campaign has divided spectators.
Many social media users believe that those attended a rally designed to incite hatred and create division deserve to be identified and “outed”, and that their employers deserve to know about their employees, so they don’t have their reputations tarnished by association (Top Dog restaurant have received plenty of criticism already via their unofficial Facebook page for their association with Cole White.)
However others have claimed these are nothing more than social media witch hunts that are created to promote vigilante justice. Often these types of high profile campaigns don’t end well, especially when too much information is posted about those that the campaigns aim to identify, such as their home address, which can put them in danger of real harm.
Additionally there is always the possibility that some of those in the photos that are being shared have been misidentified and were not involved with the Unite the Right rally – for example the rally attracted many counter anti-fascist protestors, and it is possible that photos of those protesting the counter rally may be shared by mistake, putting innocent people at risk of being at the business end of an angry social media witch hunt.
Either way the social media campaign is in full force, and it is likely that others that attended the rally will soon be identified, possibly resulting in more job losses.