Breitbart reporter caught running 'appallingly racist' and hate-filled Facebook group

The secret group's members have regularly posted anti-Semitic and pro-white supremacist content 

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Friday 01 December 2017 15:51 GMT
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Breitbart News merchandise for sale during the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference 23 February 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Breitbart News merchandise for sale during the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference 23 February 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Breitbart reporter has been revealed as the administrator of what activists have called a "racist" and "sexist" Facebook group.

Jack Hadfield runs the Young Right Society secret group on Facebook, as discovered by UK anti-extremism charity Hope Not Hate who characterised the group as being full of "appalling racist and ‘alt-right’ content."

Mr Hadfield had mostly written about technology in his approximately 150 pieces for the right-wing news site.

The group is set as ‘secret’ which means it does not come up in a regular Facebook search and embers have to be invited to join. One of Hope Not Hate’s researchers had been admitted to the group under a pseudonym and had been able to grab several screenshots of the posts.

As ThinkProgress reported, the group had over 200 members and described itself as “a place for those who are on the Right…to discuss politics, philosophy, and general Right-wing stuff with as little censorship or government intervention as possible.”

Mr Hadfield was one of four moderators listed, which meant he would not have approved every single post on the page, but had the power to take down some of the more extreme content at any time.

(Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK
(Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK (Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK)

Hope not Hate Spokesperson Nick Ryan told The Independent that the "wider point is that this reflects, yet again, on the nature of contributors that Breitbart chooses."

Mr Hadfield responded in a statement that he considers himself “on the moderate right” but that he “strongly believe[s] that all ideas, including those of the so-called ‘alt-right’ must be debated.”

He also said Hope Not Hate’s research was a “smear campaign” and that it “is just another example of the left attempting to shut down free discussion, a worrying insight into the future of so-called “liberals” in this country.”

Members have also posted in support of a subsidiary group of National Action, the first neo-Nazi group to be banned by the UK government.Specifically a member posted an article penned by a jailed National Action member Lawrence Burns for the group’s publication - aptly called Noose.

Burns was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison, having been found guilty of two charges of inciting racial hatred in a string of provocative Facebook posts in 2014.

While Mr Hadfield may not have posted some of the more controversial content, one screenshot of a post revealed he was promoting a book by Italian philosopher Julius Evola, who idolised Adolf Hitler.

(Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK
(Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK (Screenshot from Young Right Society Facebook group provided by Hope not Hate UK)

Mr Hadfield told ThinkProgress that he “thought a lot of posts were inappropriate. That doesn’t mean I’m going to ban them. That’s what free speech is.”

Breitbart’s Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and campaign team member for US President Donald Trump, denounced white supremacy in the wake of the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year.

However, the site has featured content from Milo Yiannopoulos, who said he wanted to give a “fair hearing” to the alt-right.

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