Anti-Semitic discussion thread taken down
An anti-Semitic discussion thread that included the names and photographs of Brandeis community members has been taken down from Vanguard News Network, a white supremacist website, as of last Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported in a Sept. 4 article.
The Justice found photos and names of nearly a dozen current and former Brandeis students, faculty and staff in the thread. The Commentator, the student newspaper for Yeshiva University, a Modern Orthodox Jewish university, found photos of hundreds of their current and former students and faculty members in the same thread. Public Safety officials at both schools reported that the discussion thread posed “no direct threat” to the individuals.
After Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan alerted the Brandeis community to the situation, a second discussion thread began on the forum which mocked and disparaged Brandeis for investigating the original posts. This second thread contained the text of news coverage on the incident, photos of more Brandeis community members — including Callahan himself — and anti-Semitic and racist attacks and slurs. As of Thursday, this thread had also been removed from the forum. Callahan did not comment on whether Public Safety was aware of this other thread.
In the same Sept. 4 article, The Daily Beast reported that Yeshiva University had filed a complaint with the FBI regarding the original thread, which has been passed on to the St. Louis field office. That office would have jurisdiction over an investigation into Alex Linder, a Missouri resident and prominent white nationalist figure who runs Vanguard News Network. An FBI spokeswoman, however, “would not confirm or deny if it is investigating Linder or VNN,” the article explained.
Public Safety is “continuing to cooperate with law enforcement, including the FBI, to monitor this situation,” Callahan wrote in an email to the Justice on Friday.