The site, braverthanthetroops.org, requires visitors who want to sign up to “join the fight against fascism” to input their full name, email, city, state, and a comment/message.
“Sign up below to be notified of rallies in your neighborhood. You will also get periodic messages from the leader of Antifa,” the site reads. D.C. is the area code for the phone number listed, 202-643-5375, and it urges visitors to leave a voicemail so that a “comrades” can get in touch. “All emails and voicemails collected become public domain,” fine print at the bottom of the apparent honeypot reads.
People online first speculated that the site was created by a government agency looking to collect information on anti-fascist protesters. But upon further inspection, the site appeared to have either been created by Shapiro or someone trolling the conservative commentator by making it look like he created it.
“Welcome to Your New Site Mr. Shapiro Check for your welcome email at [email protected],” part of the source code reads.
Anyone can view a site’s source code, so some are refusing to believe Shapiro—no matter how “terrible (he is) at everything he does”—is sloppy enough to leave such a public trail behind.
And they are right. The biggest clue as to who created the site is the hyperlink added to the text: “leader of Antifa.” The link redirects visitors to a tweet by Adam Rahuba, who is known for trolling the far-right.
“Here is your message from the LEADER OF ANTIFA. There is no leader of Antifa. There is no organization to join,” Rahuba’s tweet reads. “The honeypot is a troll to fuck with far-right dorks – like this crazy weirdo who left a voicemail on our fake hotline.”
Rahuba told the Daily Dot he was inspired to create the fake site following the success of his Gettysburg prank in which he tricked far-right counter-protesters into attending a fake antfia rally at Gettysburg National Military Park. Hundreds showed up to the protest under the impression antifa would be burning American flags. Only, they showed up to protest nothing and confront no one.
Rahuba said that even though it is now public knowledge he is the site’s creator, he still thinks “a good number” of far-right individuals will still fall for it. Rahuba added that he “played to people’s perception of Ben’s intelligence” by leaving Shapiro’s name and email in the source code. “I think that Ben would actually unintentionally make a blunder like that,” Rahuba said.
Rahuba also included in his tweet audio featuring a voicemail left by a man who goes on an over minute-long rant comparing antfia and Black Lives Matter protesters to “Nazis.” “Your time is coming motherfuckers,” the man says. “You come to my town, starting this shit, I guarantee you, you’ll be left in fucking body bags.” Rahuba also plugged his Venmo, @PPN412, for people who “want to support dunking on the right-wing” and help him “grab a meal or pay rent.”