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Evidence Collage: Unite the Right Rally | Media Manipulation Casebook

By Brian Friedberg and Joan Donovan
July 7, 2021

In the aftermath of the deadly car attack during the Unite the Right Rally of August 2017, a misidentification of the driver, and subsequent doxing of an unrelated individual, muddied the waters before the actual suspect was apprehended and identified by police. By seeding social media with erroneous evidence collages, an innocent individual was subject to doxing and targeted harassment by far-right extremist operators organized on 4chan and 8chan.

STAGE 1: Manipulation Campaign Planning and Origins

The Unite the Right Rally on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia was the largest gathering of white supremacists in modern United States history. At 1:45pm, a gray 2010 Dodge Challenger drove into a group of counter-protestors, injuring several and killing Heather Heyer. After the fatal impact, the car reversed and fled the scene. The car attack was captured on video by several individuals live-streaming the rally, though the driver was not visible in any of these videos.

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Source: Evidence Collage: Unite the Right Rally | Media Manipulation Casebook

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