TikTok Bans Patrick Casey, Alleged Leader of White Nationalist Group Groypers

Patrick Casey, an alleged leader of the white supremacist group Groyper, has been banned from TikTok.

Casey, who was also a figure in the alt-right Identity Evropa (also known as American Identity) movement, used the handle @patrickcaseyusa on the video-sharing app. Trying to go to the URL for Casey's account leads to a blank page, noting that TikTok "couldn't find this account."

Other people on Twitter, such as Media Matter senior researcher Alex Kaplan and activist group Sleeping Giants shared the news that Casey had been booted from the app, on Thursday. Kaplan explained that Casey "only posted there briefly last year," as Groypers were trying to join the app.

Patrick Casey, a member of the white nationalist "Groypers" & who had lead the white nationalist group American Identity Movement, has been banned from TikTok. He only posted there briefly last year as part of the "Groypers" trying to join the platform. https://t.co/o8qEhwhtv8 pic.twitter.com/ZefsO8iVfg

— Alex Kaplan (@AlKapDC) January 21, 2021

CONFIRMED: White supremacist Patrick Casey has been banned by @tiktok_us. https://t.co/kDsrIU3u0T

— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) January 21, 2021

An April 2020 article on the Daily Dot reported that America First podcaster Nick Fuentes, who has expressed white supremacist views, had joined TikTok in an attempt to appeal to a younger generation. A list, allegedly shared by Fuentes on Telegram, showed people that Groypers should follow on TikTok. The list included 13 names, including Casey and Fuentes as well as others, such as alt-right personality Tim "Baked Alaska" Gionet.

TikTok confirmed to Newsweek that both Fuentes and Casey had been banned from the platform for violating Community Guidelines. "TikTok stands firmly against hateful behavior and violence, both online and off. Content or accounts that seek to incite, glorify, or promote violence or violent groups violate our Community Guidelines and will be removed," a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

The Anti-Defamation League explains that Groypers are a "loose group" of fans of Fuentes. The ADL also notes that Casey is a "'lead' Groyper." The name "Groyper" comes from a meme similar to Pepe the Frog, which was also popular in alt-right circles in 2017. Groypers are known to have posted racist and anti-Semitic values and be critical of mainstream conservatives.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement aimed to convert people on college campuses to white nationalism. "Rather than denigrating people of color, the campus-based organization focuses on raising white racial consciousness, building community based on shared racial identity and intellectualizing white supremacist ideology," the SPLC explains. The ADL notes that in 2017, Casey was appointed Identity Evropa's chief of staff. He changed the name to American Identity in March 2019, after a number of members were doxxed. The organization appears to have dissolved in November 2020.

Both organizations tried to skirt white nationalist ties by branding their movements as more digestible stances. Fuentes billed Groypers as simply Christian conservatives, according to the ADL, and Casey has framed the American Identity Movement as an "identitarian" one, according to the SPLC.

TikTok Logo Bans White Supremacist
In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Trying to go to the URL for Patrick Casey's account leads to a blank page, noting that TikTok "couldn't find this account." Drew Angerer/Getty