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White nationalist loses job after being exposed on Twitter during Charlottesville rally

A California man was fired from his job after social media counter-protesters exposed him as a participant in the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A California man has been fired from his job after social media users identified him as a participant in the "Unite the Right" white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to Business Insider.

Cole White of Berkeley, California, was photographed at the deadly Charlottesville rally, and word got to his employer, hot dog restaurant Top Dog, which promptly terminated his employment.

The restaurant notified customers of the firing Sunday with a sign posted at the restaurant's entrance, which read: "Effective Saturday 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone."

A Twitter account, @YesYoureRacist, identified White from a photograph with the help of other users and posted his name and the name of his employer to its approximately 288,000 followers Saturday.

On Sunday, the account posted a tweet that White had been fired, accompanied by the text of a message presumably from Top Dog confirming the termination, with the hashtags #GoodNightColeWhite, #ExposeTheAltRight and #Charlottesville.

San Francisco's KPIX-TV legal analyst Melissa Caen said the firing is likely legal, because Top Dog is a private employer and being a rally participant does not make a person a member of a protected class.

White wasn't the only rallygoer who was outed by @YesYoureRacist. Twitter users mobilized over the course of the weekend to gather information on supporters of the alt-right cause and expose their names, Twitter handles, city and state of origin, employer and college attendance, and any other information that was available.

Other tweets included humiliating videos of alt-right protesters being apprehended and pepper sprayed by authorities, as well as insults toward alt-right supporters such as Richard Spencer.

The @YesYoureRacist account has been active since 2012. According to a Patreon fundraising page associated with the account, it is run by a single person who has been "scouring the underbelly of Twitter to expose people who say they're not racist, and then go on to prove otherwise."

The "Unite the Right" rally was set to begin Saturday morning, but violence broke out hours before it began when counterprotesters met the rally participants at the site. Police attempted to disperse the crowds, but the conflict escalated to the point that Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.

More than 30 people were injured during the rally, and one person was killed when a vehicle sped into a crowd of counterprotesters. The suspected driver was later arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, according to CNN. 

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