White nationalist loses job after photo goes viral

Twitter users name and shame people who attended far-right demonstration in Charlottesville

KKK in Charlottesville
Members of the Ku Klux Klan protest in Charlottesville, Virginia 
(Image credit: Chet Strange/Getty Images)

A man who attended a white supremacy rally in Virginia has been fired after his photo went viral.

Cole White, a 22-year-old man from California, lost his job at a Top Dog restaurant yesterday after being publicly identified on Twitter, the New York Post reports.

"His employers said he was fired as a direct result of his involvement in the 'Unite the Right' demonstrations," the paper says.

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Thousands of demonstrators, including members of the KKK, clashed with counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, before a car was deliberately driven into the crowd, killing a woman.

Images of torch-bearing white supremacists began circulating on social media after the Twitter user @YesYoureRacist appealed for help in identifying people taking part in the far-right rally.

"If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in Charlottesville, send me their names/profiles and I'll make them famous," they tweeted.

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Other Twitter users, including journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald, also followed suit:

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Among those identified was Peter Cvjetanovic, who said he "did not expect the photo to be shared as much as it was."

He told Channel 2 News: "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.

But many were unconvinced by Cvjetanovic's defence:

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There seems to "near-universal consensus" in left-leaning circles that outing white supremacists on social media "is the right thing to do," Tom McKay writes for Gizmodo.

"It's easy to see the appeal of doxxing," he says. "White supremacists have effectively weaponized the psuedo-anonymous nature of the internet to their advantage."

But he warns that "like any tactic, it brings with it its own risks" and cites cases where people have been wrongly identified online. "When mistakes are made, it can help ruin an innocent person's life," says McKay.

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