Twitter users identify white supremacists at Charlottesville protests

Twitter users are harnessing the social media platform to identify white supremacists photographed during this weekend’s protests at Charlottesville, Va., that sent shockwaves across the U.S.

White nationalists had gathered in Charlottesville to protest plans to remove a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, sparking chaotic scenes that ended in tragic violence. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed Saturday when police say a man plowed his car into a group of demonstrators protesting the planned “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally.

The Twitter account @YesYoureRacist has been tweeting images of white supremacists in Charlottesville.

“If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in #Charlottesville, send me their names/profiles and I'll make them famous #GoodNightAltRight,” tweeted @YesYoureRacist, which has 280,000 Twitter followers.

Peter Cvjetanovic, a 20-year-old student at the University of Nevada, Reno, was identified after he was photographed with white nationalists marching through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches Friday.

“I did not expect the photo to be shared as much as it was. I understand the photo has a very negative connotation. But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo,” Cvjetanovic told KTVN.

Cvjetanovic said he's a white nationalist who cares for all people and wants to "preserve what we have."

Sen. Dean Heller, R- Nev., after a recent photo of the two reportedly surfaced, condemned the events and said he didn't know Cvjetanovic.

The University of Nevada, Reno, also denounced the movement as corrosive to society.


The hashtag #ExposeTheAltRight is also being harnessed in the social media backlash against the events in Charlottesville.

Twitter’s privacy rules state that context plays a big part in whether certain information is considered private or not. “We may consider the context and nature of the information posted, local privacy laws, and other case-specific facts when determining if this policy has been violated,” it says.

The rules, however, prohibit posting private information such as Social Security numbers, addresses and non-public phone numbers, as well as “images or videos that are considered and treated as private under applicable laws.”

The hashtag #ExposeTheAltRight is also being harnessed in the social media backlash against the events in Charlottesville.

On Sunday GoDaddy gave white supremacist site Daily Stormer 24 hours to find a new domain provider after an online post disparaging Heyer.

A post on the Daily Stormer’s website claims that it has been taken over by hacking collective Anonymous. However, the @AnonyInfo Twitter account, which claims to be linked to Anonymous, said that it could not confirm that the Daily Stormer site was hacked. The @YourAnonNews account tweeted a similar note on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers