Tags: anti-defamation league | media | duped | florida shooter | supremacist ties | trolls

Politico: ADL, Public, Media 'Duped' on Shooter's Supremacist Ties

Image: Politico: ADL, Public, Media 'Duped' on Shooter's Supremacist Ties

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is seen on a closed-circuit television screen during a bond hearing in front of Broward Judge Kim Mollica at the Broward County Courthouse on February 15, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Susan Stocker - Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 16 February 2018 06:55 PM

White nationalist trolls "duped" the public – and many news media outlets – with fake news reports the alleged shooter in this week's Parkland, Florida, school shooting was tied to hate groups, forcing law enforcement to debunk the connections.

And the Anti-Defamation League bears a burden of blame, according to Politico.

"All of our evidence seems to point to the ADL getting this wrong," online misinformation researcher Joan Donovan of New York City's Data & Society told Politico.

According to the report, the fake news began with the ADL's statement on ties between the shooter and the Republic of Florida Militia's Jordan Jereb.

"A spokesperson for the white supremacist group ROF told the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday, Feb. 15, that Nikolas Cruz . . . was associated with his group," the ADL statement, picked up by ABC News, the Associated Press, and other media outlets, reportedly read.

". . . Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or wanted Cruz to do anything like the school shooting."

Once law enforcement authorities questioned Jereb on his possible connections, finding no real evidence, social media "rolls and white nationalists gloated at the disinformation they had sowed," according to Politico.

The ADL revised its report on the alleged ties Friday, saying it is "now in the hands of law enforcement."

"ADL shared information from our experts on extremism and claims from white supremacists that we believed could be helpful to both law enforcement and the public due to the fluid and evolving nature of the events," an ADL spokesperson's statement read Friday, per Politico.

"Confirmation of whether Cruz was part of ROF is now in the hands of law enforcement, and that's what the Broward sheriff's team is looking into."

Data & Society's Donovan told Politico this was a case of "source hacking."

"It's a very effective way of getting duped," Donovan told Politico.

Both ABC News and the AP reported to have spoken with those with knowledge of Cruz's ties to ROF, although not specifying whether the interactions might have come with individuals on social media.

"We have to start thinking of these white nationalist groups as what some of them describe themselves — 'media militias,'" Donovan told Politico. "They think of media as adversarial territory."

Jereb reportedly claims to have also been duped, calling it a "legit misunderstanding" his ROF militia has multiple people with the same first name as the shooter.

"You realize I wasn't in on the prank? You realize I thought the information I was being given was legit?" Jered wrote online, according to Politico.

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White nationalist trolls "duped" the public - and many news media outlets - with fake news reports the alleged shooter in this week's Parkland, Florida, school shooting was tied to hate groups, forcing law enforcement to debunk the connections.And the Anti-Defamation League...
anti-defamation league, media, duped, florida shooter, supremacist ties, trolls
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2018-55-16
Friday, 16 February 2018 06:55 PM
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