Prior to his now-canceled University of California, Berkeley "Free Speech Week," right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopolous falsely accused a reporter of being a neo-Nazi.
"White supremacists and neo-Nazis hate me, and I hate them,” Yinnapolous wrote alongside an image of Jack Smith IV, a senior writer at Mic.com covering technology and inequality, on the homepage of Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks white nationalism in the United States.
The image in question is originally from a Mic video in which the reporter explains how white supremacists on the internet, now known as "members of the alt-right," use various symbols to spread their hateful ideology.
Yiannopolous manipulated it to look like the SPLC lists Smith as a neo-Nazi. And the SPLC, for the record, does not list Smith as a neo-Nazi.
Mic contacted Yiannopoulos to ask why he used an edited image to portray one of their writers as a neo-Nazi. He responded by saying he posted it in response to a tweet by Smith:
Reminder: Milo Yiannopoulos was protested at Berkeley because he intended to out undocumented students on stage, not because of his "ideas."— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) September 14, 2017
“Ask him why he did this,” Yiannopoulos said alongside a screenshot of Smith’s tweet. “Jack Smith is as much of a Nazi as I am," he later added, when asked about if it was right to falsely portray Smith as a racist.
While the false accusation is shocking, it's not surprising coming from Yiannopoulos, who is infamous for his far-right views and conspiracy theories. Until February, he wrote for Breitbart, a website that is notorious for publishing fake news.
Thumbnail Credits: Lucas Jackson/Reuters