After appeal to Musk, X suspends accounts that outed neo-Nazi cartoonist


keyboard with hate speech key

iStock/Getty Images

X has locked and suspended the accounts of journalists and researchers who shared the alleged identity of a neo-Nazi cartoonist known as Stonetoss after the cartoonist appealed to site owner Elon Musk.

The incident, critics say, highlights once again how Musk has not only welcomed extremists onto his platform but has repeatedly boosted their conspiracies, engaged with their accounts, and seems to have protected them from scrutiny.

A lengthy X thread posted by the antifascist research group Anonymous Comrades Collective last week claimed that Stonetoss is a man named Hans Kristian Graebener from Spring, Texas. Stonetoss cartoons, which feature simple and colorful imagery coupled with racist, homophobic, and antisemitic language, have become hugely popular among right-wing communities since they were first published at least seven years ago.

In its telling, the antifascist research group linked the Stonetoss cartoonist to another anonymous racist cartoonist known as Red Panels by comparing their voices from appearances on extremist podcasts. The researchers say they found an email address linked to Graebener that was used to register the Red Panels accounts on the far-right social media platform Gab. Then, the group says, it was able to match up comments made by Stonetoss with events in Graebener’s life. In one case, Graebener took a trip to Japan in 2019 with a Houston IT company he then worked for; at the same time, Stonetoss posted a picture on X of a “welcome to Japan” sign with the comment, “Finally made it to the ethnostate fellas.” The research group has been doing this kind of work for years and has been credited with unmasking numerous other extremists, including those involved with a neo-Nazi homeschool network.

Graebener has not disputed anything the researchers uncovered. He did not respond to requests for comment from WIRED to his personal email address nor to the email address on the Stonetoss website, and he did not pick up calls from phone numbers associated with his name.

The Anonymous Comrade Collective thread got a lot of attention on X, racking up at least 13.5 million views. On Thursday, the Stonetoss account appealed to X users who have “a direct line” to Musk, X’s owner, to help to get the thread deleted. Musk has, in the past, shared an altered version of a Stonetoss cartoon about the collapse of society. “If Elon’s idea of a ‘free speech’ website is one where people can be intimidated into silence, the outcome will be a site where the Stasi will drive out all dissent,” Stonetoss wrote. The account also tagged Musk and offered to share a list of people to target.

In a subsequent post, Stonetoss said this appeal was not about him but about other “artists.”

“This is about others I know personally,” Stonetoss wrote. “There is a whole ecosystem of artists out there who cannot (or have stopped) making art because of people on twitter organized to punish them IRL for doing so.” The cartoonist also added that sales of his plush toy were “going gangbusters” since his alleged identity was revealed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *