Leftists on social media sites, viewing pictures of the white supremacist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, decided they would target one participant and make his life a living hell.
They got the wrong man.
Kyle Quinn, who supervises a laboratory dedicated to wound-healing research at the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas, discovered on Saturday that leftists had misidentified him as one of the white supremacists at the rally 1,000 miles away from where he lived.
One man rallying with the white supremacists had been photographed wearing an “Arkansas Engineering” shirt; leftists found a photograph of Quinn that bore a facial resemblance to the rallygoer, and then they went to work.
Quinn was targeted with vulgar messages on Twitter and Instagram, according to The New York Times. The messages accused him of being a racist, said he should be fired, and worst, posted his home address. Some tweets read “don’t let your kids near him” and “dude doesn’t need to be teaching anywhere” along with his picture. Quinn issued tweets saying that he wasn’t the man in the picture, that he was never in Virginia that weekend, and that he championed diversity at the University of Arkansas.
Quinn and his wife stayed with a colleague over the weekend; he said, “You have celebrities and hundreds of people doing no research online, not checking facts. I’ve dedicated my life to helping all people, trying to improve health care and train the next generation of scientists, and this is potentially throwing a wrench in that.”
Mark Popejoy, an art director in Bentonville, Arkansas, tried to stem the onslaught of Twitter accounts inaccurately identifying Quinn, asserting that the University of Arkansas had confirmed that Mr. Quinn was not involved.
Popejoy said that despite his correcting of the record, some Twitter users refused to give up their pursuit of Quinn.