It’s Election Day (finally!) and the Anti-Defamation League is monitoring extremist activity online and at the polls. While ADL is non-partisan and does not support or oppose candidates for office, we believe it is important to report on election-related extremist threats, as well as various conspiracy theories and calls to action. Our Center on Extremism team will be updating this blog throughout the day.
Note: Some of the “voter fraud” allegations are coming out of the pro-Trump camp, but others appear to originate with Bernie Sanders supporters who are apparently still angry about the Democratic Party primary results.
Inaccurate or fabricated viral news articles alleging election/voter fraud are being widely shared on Facebook by angry Trump supporters who believe the election is being rigged.
Allegations of Voter Fraud/Election Rigging
Extremists and conspiracy theorists are taking to Twitter, Facebook and many other social media platforms to voice their paranoid ideas about the election process.
- From Facebook:
- Right wing political commentator Allen West posted his concerns about supposed election rigging on Facebook:
- Former KKK leader and current candidate for U.S. Senate David Duke managed to promote both a conspiracy theory and his racist agenda with this Tweet:
- Some conspiracy theorists suggested (falsely) that Hillary Clinton and/or Barack Obama encourage undocumented immigrants to vote, citing this (fake) Tweet from Clinton:
- On YouTube, posters are preparing for a possible Clinton victory:
One wrote: “We need a march on the White House if Clinton wins…We could form a huge group… ” and another responded: “…with torches pitchforks and rope”
- One poster on the webpage of The Daily Shoah (an anti-Semitic radio program) shared this announcement:
- On the virulently anti-Semitic blog Incogman.com, some commenters seemed to be preparing for a possible Trump loss, kicking off Election Day with a slew of election-rigging theories:
I am voting for Donald Trump but do not expect him to be announced “THE WINNER”. The Devil Jews are going to say Hillary Rob’em Clinton won and give the office to her. There will be a “False Flag” attack by actors pretending to be Trump supporters and those “Evil guns” will have to be banned. Our country is lost.
- On Facebook, cries of a "rigged" election continue, as well as threats of violent repercussions if Trump loses:
Allegations of Voter Intimidation/Suppression
While some extremists have been openly threatening to intimidate likely Clinton voters, others are voicing concern (real or imagined) about being intimidated themselves.
- On Reddit, this pledge followed the heading “MAJOR WARNING: Legacy media will call the election early in favor of Hillary to suppress Trump turnout. Expect to hear "record Democrat turnout" and "record Latino turnout". Don't listen. Get in line. Stay in line. VOTE:” But today we do not despair. Today we will not be lied to. Today we turn the country blood red. Today we take revenge.
- 4chan is predictably animated today with various (frequently racist) conspiracy theories and violent boasting.
Anti-Semitism has been a constant thread throughout this election cycle, and is on full display in Election Day posts and commentary.
- Lee Rogers, who runs the neo-Nazi site Infostormer, has an article on The Daily Stormer, another neo-Nazi site, in which he blames Jews for destroying Western civilization and urges whites to vote for Donald Trump today:
"We are at a tipping point. The greatness of Western civilization has been forever tied to the racial stock of the White Europeans who created it. Anywhere in the world where White Europeans have settled, they have created great societies and civilizations. The on-going racial decline of White European populations brought about through the Jewish promotion of race mixing and mass third world migrations will end Western civilization if it continues.It is the duty of every American of White European descent to vote for Donald Trump today. He is a symbolic representation of the people who built Western civilization. Hillary Clinton represents the Jewish interests who seek to destroy it."
- On Breitbart, the far right-wing website whose chairman, Steve Bannon, is now chief executive officer of the Trump campaign, the anti-Semitism started early on Election Day:
- For the last several months, posters at Vnn.com, a white supremacist comment board, have been sharing their anti-Semitic theories about the election, echoing the themes highlighted in Donald Trump’s closing campaign ad.
- On Infostormer, a neo-Nazi website, one poster pleaded with fellow Trump supporters:
“The Jews are lashing out in rabid fear, and I hold no doubts that they will unleash their full arsenal upon us and our GLORIOUS LEADER before the final votes are tallied…Like many of you, I’ll be watching the results surrounded by my loved ones ready to celebrate when we tear out the black hearts of these rotten Kikes by seizing the highest position in this land… Do it for the young, including my unborn first son that is praying from the womb for a chance at a happy and fair beginning, and for the old, including my elderly mother (born in Germany during the final days of the Third Reich) who wishes to see 1945 and the millions of her dead racial kindred avenged.
So today, on this 8th of November in the year of our Lord 2016, rise up, White Man, and unleash the storm!”
- Familiar anti-Semitic memes and conspiracy theories are out in full force on Reddit:
- Likewise on 4chan:
- Anti-Semites are also Tweeting their Election Day thoughts:
From white supremacist Alex Linder:
Threats of violence
This election cycle has been characterized by violent rhetoric, outright threats and occasional acts of violence. Extremists and others anxious about the results of the presidential election are vowing to retaliate in case of a Clinton victory.
- On 4chan:
What if we lose?
Then we'll meet irl.
- This Facebook poster predicts that a Clinton victory will lead to “revolution:”
- According to Houston Chronicle reporter Andrew Kragie, a man was detained by police after showing up at a Houston polling place with a handgun:
- Facebook users posted their planned response to a Trump loss:
- Some, like this YouTube poster, are focused on Democrats:
“Republicans stocked up on plenty of bullets ahead of time. There are plenty to go around for you Democrats.”
- These Breitbart commenters apparently feel the same way:
- A commenter at the notorious white supremacist website Daily Stormer shared his very specific plans for Clinton:
- A self-proclaimed militia member announced on Facebook that he is on "standby" with weapons at the ready.
- Another Facebook poster urges civilians to follow militia members and veterans or risk becoming "a quantified target."
- Gun-related threats were popular on Facebook today: