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On January 11th, popular anonymous Twitter user @neontaster was doxed by former Young Turks reporter Michael Tracey.
Addressing his followers, @neontaster explained that Tracey’s threat to reveal his identity first began last February, with Tracey sending him an email stating, “I believe I have ascertained your identity … I believe it would be journalistically valid to reveal it given the platform you have accrued.”
The doxing comes after @neontaster asked Tracey to stop following him on Twitter—a reaction prompted by Tracey openly insulting him. Tracey began to leak details about @neontaster’s identity immediately, and within an hour of their interaction, the former TYT reporter published a thread revealing the identity of the then-anonymous user.
The recent spat between Tracey and @neontaster stems in-part from a disagreement over Tracey’s outspoken support for the Iranian regime. In the wake of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq by Iranian-backed militia in December, Tracey took it upon himself to become an ardent defender of the Iranian regime, which only a day ago admitted to shooting down a civilian airliner amidst its brief bombing campaign of U.S. bases in Iraq following President Trump’s removal of its top general, Qasem Soleimani, from the battlefield.
@neontaster took a contrasting position, not advocating for war or regime change, but speaking in favour of punitive action against the Iranian regime for its repeated attacks on American military personnel stationed in the Middle East.
The disagreement came to a head as Tracey first threatened to unmask @neontaster, followed up by a tweet purportedly revealing the pseudonymous commentator’s personal identity and that of his uncle.
Following Tracey’s doxing of @neontaster, the former TYT contributor remained unapologetic in the face of widespread condemnation. He wrote: “I will always feel great about seeking to identify the influence of prominent neoconservatives in DC and media power structure. If you are offended by that, I am glad. Cry about it.”
In subsequent responses, @neontaster highlighted what he felt was an anti-Semitic current below the surface of Tracey’s actions. The term “neocon” has been weaponized by white nationalists to refer to Jewish people engaged in politics. White supremacist academic Kevin MacDonald published a thesis outlining “Neoconservatism as a Jewish movement.” As a result, the use of the term, especially when directed at Jewish people, remains sensitive.
Disturbingly, white nationalists on Twitter have taken to celebrate Tracey’s exposé and labelling of @neontaster as supposed “neocon.”
Among the first to signal his support for Tracey’s doxing efforts of @neontaster was alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer, who notably added an Iranian flag to his Twitter profile and publicly “regretted” supporting Donald Trump in 2016.
Other anti-Semitic and white nationalist Twitter users chimed in, even those who admitted to never having heard of @neontaster’s account before the doxing.
Efforts to unmask @neontaster’s private identity are not new. White nationalists belonging to the “Groyper” movement—allies and followers of self-described “paleoconservative” Nicholas J. Fuentes, notable for his anti-Semitic views, were previously responsible for outing @neontaster’s identity following his outspoken criticism of their involuntarily celibate messiah.
When reached for comment about his efforts to chill @neontaster’s presence and speech on social media by outing him publicly, Tracey denied that his actions were inappropriate, claiming “journalistic validity” because of the other user’s familial ties. Tracey’s comments in full are provided here, with redaction of @neontaster’s personal information:
When asked for his comments on the ordeal, @neontaster encouraged people read the interactions that lead to the doxing before forming an opinion.
“I think the facts speak for themselves, and people are welcome to go read his tweets and decide whether he was acting in good faith or not.”