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This flyer has been circulating online since at least 2017 and it’s a hoax.
Across the country businesses have boarded up to protect against possible Election Day violence but a recent blog post suggesting that antifa activists will dress up like supporters of President Donald Trump and commit violence relies on an old, fake flyer with a debunked claim.
"Antifa gearing up for false flag violence disguised as Trump-supporters," reads the headline on the Nov. 3 post. The story claims that "the progressive activists" plan to riot while disguised as Trump supporters "in order to make the case that Donald Trump truly is a dictator that must be violently overthrown if he wins or arrested and prosecuted if he loses."
It says that "a source that has always been reliable was able to photograph an Antifa flyer." And an accompanying image of the supposed flyer reads: "Election Day nears Comrades!!! Prepare to defend your rights!!" It reminds "Antifa Comrades" to disguise themselves as "patriots/Trump supporters" on Nov. 4 by wearing "MAGA hats, USA flags, 3%er insignias" or "a convincing police uniform."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
First, antifa stands for "anti-fascist" and refers to a broad, loose coalition of left-wing activists who protest white supremacy and other far-right causes. Sometimes antifa activists are violent but experts say most of the activity that happens under the antifa banner is nonviolent.
The image of the flyer has been online since at least 2017, when online rumors claimed that antifa activists were planning a revolution that would begin on Nov. 4.
It started to spread on social media after it appeared in a Facebook group called "Hickman County Antifa." The user who originally posted it there, Katy Krasnow, has told fact-checkers that she shared it as a joke.
"Hickman County Antifa was a satire page," she told Snopes. "I deleted soon after it got shared because it made a lot of people freak out more than I expected. Nobody in the group was really actually connected. We were just sharing dumb antifa memes."
In 2017, Will Sommer, a Daily Beast politics reporter who covers conservative media, described the flyer in a Medium post as one of several "fabricated ‘planning documents’ that urge antifa guerillas to commit violence while posing as police or Trump supporters."
In June, a Twitter account — @ANTIFA_US — appeared to call for violence, rallying "comrades" to move into residential areas and "take what’s ours." But the account wasn’t actually affiliated with antifa activists; it was created by a known white supremacist group.
And on Sept. 4, Law Enforcement Today, which "unapologetically supports those who hold the Thin Blue Line," published a story about the flyer being shared on Facebook.
"While I personally loathe the likes of Antifa and their tactics," the author wrote, "I can assure you that this is simply a hoax."
We rate this blog post False.
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.
American Thinker post, Nov. 3, 2020
PolitiFact, No, antifa activists aren’t disguising themselves as Trump supporters to riot, Sept. 18, 2020
The Daily Beast, The left secretly preps for MAGA violence after Election Day, Sept. 8, 2020
Politico, 8 big reasons Election Day 2020 could be a disaster, July 24, 2020
CNN, White supremacists pose as Antifa online, June 2, 2020
FactCheck.org, Viral tweet ‘alert’ wasn’t from Antifa, June 2, 2020
PolitiFact, Ask PolitiFact: What is antifa, and why is it over my timeline? July 2, 2020
Sizzle post, Oct. 28, 2017
Time, No, ‘Antifa’ protesters aren’t planning on toppling the government tomorrow, Nov. 3, 2017
Law Enforcement Today, Is there an Antifa riot planned for the day after the election? Here are the rumors — and what we found, Sept. 4, 2020
Medium, How the "November 4" conspiracy theory took over pro-Trump internet, Oct. 31, 2017
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