Sky News/YouTube

After far-right pundit suspended from Twitter, impersonator raises money for BLM

Parler verified the account.

Jun 22, 2020, 1:59 pm*

Internet Culture

Claire Goforth 

Claire Goforth

Last week, controversial far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins was permanently suspended from Twitter for violating its policies prohibiting abusive and hateful speech.

Advertisement Hide

Hopkins quickly joined a mass exodus of like-minded British Twitter personalities flocking to a fringe social media company that is becoming a haven for ousted right-wingers: Parler.

Advertisement Hide

Or so it seemed.

A Parler account bearing Hopkins’ name, old Twitter handle, and likeness was registered on June 19 and quickly verified, according to Twitter user @TheAnonGuide, which claims responsibility.

The Anonymous Guide/Twitter

They asked for donations to a legal fund to sue Twitter for booting her, allegedly collecting $500 before Parler took the account down. They said the funds would be donated to Black Lives Matter organizations.

Advertisement Hide

Hopkins has repeatedly been accused of racism. Some of her final tweets reportedly mocked the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I am a Straight. White. Christian. Conservative. Married. Mother. of three. And I am PROUD of all these things,” Hopkins reportedly tweeted last week. “Get off your knees to the thuggery #BlackLivesMatter.”

After Twitter banned her, Hopkins’ fans excitedly noticed the Parler account and urged others on Twitter to follow her there. Some later tweeted that they’d learned the account was a hoax.

Advertisement Hide

The Anonymous Guide also posted a screenshot of a purported email correspondence with Elise Rhodes, Parler’s chief marketing officer, about getting the fake Hopkins’ account verified. Rhodes cheerfully agreed.

The Anonymous Guide/Twitter

The Daily Dot emailed the address on the screenshot requesting comment and asking how the account came to be verified; Parler’s stated policy requires pictures of both sides of a driver’s license and a selfie. The email address matches one Rhodes tweeted on June 21.

Rhodes had not responded as of press time.

Advertisement Hide

According to Hopkins’ current, and apparently real, Parler account, she joined on June 20, a day after the other account with the same handle was established and verified.

In a screenshot tweeted by food writer Jonathan Nunn, Parler founder and CEO John Matze wrote on the platform that the “fake account was verified by an employee improperly.”

Jonathan Nunn/Twitter

Matze added that Parler was taking steps to ensure such didn’t happen in the future, and was in touch with Cash App and Venmo about the funds that were reportedly collected.

Advertisement Hide

“We have the IP address and identifiable information for those that committed the act,” he said.

Jonathan Nunn/Twitter

Matze’s post appears to have been deleted. On June 20, he welcomed Hopkins to Parler and wrote that he can “personally confirm this is now the official account for Katie Hopkins.”

READ MORE:

Advertisement Hide

Share this article
*First Published: Jun 22, 2020, 1:56 pm