Finding 'Ann Fields'
This page is an offshoot from my article about the former political and social commentator, communications specialist, civil rights activist,banker, lawyer, theologian, imam, school governor, sex education guide author, lecturer, marriage counsellor, prison chaplain and sheik Mohammed ‘Mo’ Ansar. Click here to return to the main article. [Update: If you’ve received an email purporting to be from me saying I believe elements of this article are incorrect or unwise to disseminate further, it’s fake. I stand by everything I’ve written in this article, and encourage you to share it widely.]
Most people who have interacted with Mo Ansar on Twitter will have come across someone claiming to be called Ann Fields and purporting to be, variously, a geneticist, an anti-fascist and a foreign policy expert at a think tank who also works as a journalist. Ann, or variants of her - there have been at least 10 accounts, some of which have been suspended or now lie dormant - relentlessly defend Ansar from criticism, attack the same people and organisations he hates, sometimes in abusive terms, and share a vast number of his views, some of which are highly unusual. On top of this, Ansar is a fan of Liverpool football club, whose stadium is Anfield. In addition, it clearly is extremely unlikely that 'Ann' is both a geneticist and works at a think tank as a foreign policy adviser, so one or both of these are lies. When pressed to provide information substantiating 'her' identity and credentials, 'Ann' insists that she values 'her' privacy and so to protect her identity she refuses. But this makes little sense, as 'she' has openly declared what she claims to be both her real name and professions in her Twitter bio.
The pattern of obvious deceptions and obsession with defending Ansar and sharing his views is so striking that most people who have had exchanges with 'Ann' have concluded that 'she' is Ansar. But, as Ansar knows, proving this is close to impossible. Twitter only reveals users' IP addresses with a court order, and even those do not usually prove something emanated from a single computer. It could be argued that someone in his vicinity, perhaps a close friend or family member, was responsible, that his computer had been used by a houseguest without his knowledge, or had been stolen, and so on. So despite common sense saying it is obviously, even blatantly Ansar, 'Ann' plays dumb, mispelling things and insisting to everyone 'she' is not Ansar while continuing to tweet away.
On other pages I've looked at other Ansar sockpuppets: I show the evidence for his operating the Twitter account @The_Truthteller here, and discuss his use of sockpuppets on Wikipedia and Youtube in section 3 here. The scale of this activity is mind-boggling. From his own account, Ansar has to date tweeted nearly 120,000 times, which is significant enough. But just one of these other accounts, @xtc_uk, has also tweeted 56,000 times since joining the site, and some of the others have tweeted many thousands of times, too.
The first 'Ann' account seems to have been @xam_uk, which was suspended from Twitter in February 2013 but joined the site in June 2012 using that address and the account name 'Sara Ann' - reverse this and you very nearly have Ansar's own surname. The account tweeted BBC presenter Nicky Campbell, Times columnist David Aaronovitch, politician and PressTV pundit George Galloway, the organisation Tell Mama, Mohammed Shafiq and others, just as Ansar does; it defended Ansar's positions robustly; and levelled accusations of Islamophobia or anti-Muslim bias at people and organisations. All this, combined with 'Ann' in the name, 'x' and '_uk' in the account address and a score of other details make it obvious the account was run by the same person who now runs the @xtc_uk account. Similar logic applies for other accounts: @yellowfield_uk, @bluefield_uk, @kettle_uk, @panpot_, @_panpot (suspended), @_panpot2 (suspended), @alisonT7, @sausagesfortea and @creepingfascism.
Maintaining so many accounts over such a long period (several years now) would involve a lot of time, but also effort to cover ones tracks sufficiently. The most frequently used account, @xtc_uk, has also attracted the most scrutiny from other Twitter users, and has occasionally seemed to slip up, such as in this exchange when 'she' replied to a question addressed to Ansar in a disorienting manner:
'Ann' sailed past the concern easily enough. However, I think Ansar has tripped up with one of his sockpuppets, one that he used briefly and then abandoned, and which had just 30 followers. In doing so, he inadvertently revealed that all the accounts are him.
But before I get to that why, apart from the simple dishonesty of claiming to be people you aren't, would it be a problem if he does this? Well, for a few reasons, I think. It looks like Ansar uses 'Ann' to propagate views that he can't risk appearing under his own name as it would undermine his reputation for being 'moderate', which is crucial if he wants to get back onto Britain's airwaves as a commentator, which he very much would like to do. So as @moansar, he mainly tweets platitudes and populist anti-government/anti-establishment positions. As @xtc_uk and other accounts, he presents more extreme positions. He also spreads lies and smears and tries to undermine people he dislikes or feels are a threat to him, such as Maajid Nawaz of the counter-extremist think tank The Quilliam Foundation. Ansar loathes few people in the world more than Nawaz, for reasons explained in the main article. Below left is a recent tweet of his as 'Ann' in which he claims Nawaz is not Muslim.
This is a significant smear in two ways. The first is that Nawaz and others want to reform Islam, stripping it of extremist ideology and encouraging a liberal approach, so if it is believed he is no longer Muslim that will be made even harder to do. Secondly, in some Muslim countries, the penalty for leaving Islam is death. Ansar knows this very well, and the problem is a real one in Britain, too, as explained here. In other tweets, he has even brought in Nawaz's wife, mentioning her by name.
Ansar has also used this account to offer various apologetics and justifications for the Charlie Hebdo murders (see above right), and under his own name and this account previously attacked Nawaz for tweeting that he wasn't offended by a cartoon of Muhammed: Nawaz and his family received credible death threats. It's a very nasty game indeed.
So below is a collections of tweets that I think show beyond any reasonable doubt that Mo Ansar is 'Ann Fields'. Click on each tweet to enlarge (the captions enlarge, too). If you're viewing this on a phone, a few might appear in the wrong order, so follow the numbering. I've kept the tweets to the minimum I thought needed to make the case for anyone with an open mind, but there are dozens more similarities between these accounts, which you can compare using Twitter's own search function if you require more convincing. But I can't think of any other plausible explanation for what I outline here.