The strange mixup began yesterday (May 31) when a Twitter user posted a video from Columbus and wrote, "Apparent Antifa organizer caught on camera appearing to pay some kids to riot." The short clip has been retweeted over 10,000 times. And in the top response, having been retweeted 142 times as of press time, another user (with a profile picture from the far-right conspiracy theory group QAnon) identified the man as Aaron Dessner.
Dessner subsequently posted on Instagram, sharing a picture of a peaceful meadow and writing that he has been isolating with his family in their rural home for the past three months. He clarified that he is not the person accused of encouraging rioting, and he hasn't been in Ohio since June 2019.
Dessner added, "However I do FULLY support peaceful protests and activism against endemic racism and racially motivated violence in this country, which somehow continues generation after generation after generation."
See Dessner's full Instagram statement below.
I'm very fortunate and grateful to wake up every morning in the rural countryside I live in, looking at farmland and these beautiful mountains. I've been here for three months now isolating with my wife and young children. This morning I've woken up to the unpleasant and surprising news that I've been misindentified by some social media users as someone seen encouraging rioting in Columbus, Ohio -- I am not the person some are suggesting I am. Nor have I been in Ohio since June 2019. However I do FULLY support peaceful protests and activism against endemic racism and racially motivated violence in this country, which somehow continues generation after generation after generation. Like so many, I'm hoping for peaceful resolution and actual progress addressing these persistent issues in our society.