Thousands fall for fake ad shared by anonymous YIMBY account

An anonymous YIMBY account’s viral tweet claiming to show a rental ad on Craiglist looking for “vaccine-free family of European heritage” shared over 15,000 in just over 24 hours offers a stark example of how rapidly misinformation spreads on the internet.

The twitter account Nimby Patrol (@NimbyPatrol) put out a tweet claiming to show an advertisement for a four-bedroom house in Dundarave area of West Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Would prefer to rent to a vaccine-free family of European heritage,” reads the ad.

The asking rent for an “unvaccinated tenant” is $2,550 per month.

For a “Covid cultist,” the rent jumps to $4,550 per month.

The tweet has been liked over 13,000 times, retweeted over 1,400 times, and quote tweeted over 350 times.

Those sharing the Nimby Patrol’s tweet include prominent journalists, academics, and politicians.

But according to local journalist Brent Richter, the ad is a fake.

“I’ve seen this across my feed all day,” he tweeted. “The house isn’t near Dundarave or Park Royal. That ad isn’t online anymore. The house *is* listed for sale for $2.5 million. No one, no matter how crazy or racist, is renting a house for $2,550.”

“I think you’re being trolled,” Richter said.

Nimby Patrol account is part of the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) movement – which is pushing for more condos to be built in urban areas.

While the YIMBY consider themselves “pro-housing,” opponents of the movement have accused them of being “shills” for big real estate developers.

The YIMBY, on the other hand, view anybody who opposes more real estate development in their neighbourhoods as NIMBY, which stands for Not In My Backyard.

The YIMBY movement has also faced accusations that its members attack anyone who disagrees with giving private developers a carte blanche to build market housing.

That’s exactly what the Nimby Patrol account seems to be doing: making fun of those who oppose new developments in their neighbourhoods.

Other YIMBY attacks against opponents have been far more violent.

“Just gas this room,” vocal YIMBY advocate Greg Andrews Tweeted while his account was protected. “Problem solved”

(Given the violent nature of Andrews’s threats, thinkpol has decided not to identify the group he targeted.)

While it’s unclear what the account intended by sharing the fake ad, the viral tweet has helped Nimby Patrol gain thousands of additional followers on Twitter.