Fake ‘Black Panther’ Attack Stories Get Trolls Suspended From Twitter

Twitter tells TheWrap it is temporarily blocking accounts posting bogus movie theater assaults

Last Updated: February 20, 2018 @ 1:33 PM

While “Black Panther” was busy breaking box office records, Twitter trolls were busy inventing bogus stories, saying they were brutally attacked after going to see the blockbuster.

To dampen excitement for the first Marvel movie directed by an African-American, race-baiting users tweeted stories of being “assaulted” by “black teens,” complete with bloody pictures. Some of the accounts have anti-semitic handles or avatars of alt-right cartoon symbol Pepe the Frog. You can take a look at a few examples below:

Another fake accusation (via Snopes)

Twitter frog says he was “assaulted” by “black teens” after seeing “Black Panther” (via Snopes)

However, police departments in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston haven’t responded to any assaults following a “Black Panther” screening, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite the lack of evidence, the spurious accusations have racked up hundreds of retweets. One fake post grabbed 400 retweets with a picture of a bloody towel and sink — something that was quickly shown to be a Flickr image from 2009.

The account was suspended by Twitter for violating its rules — which prohibit accounts from posting “misleading, deceptive, or malicious links” — the company told TheWrap.

A Twitter spokesperson did not specify to TheWrap how many accounts have been suspended due to sham “Black Panther” attacks, or for how long. She emphasized that the social media company is not the arbiter of what is and isn’t real, but that the accounts are being suspended for a number of reasons outlined in its rules, including if tweets are “aggressive” or “malicious,” for example.

And of course, since it’s Twitter, there was an equal and opposite pushback to the trolls. Users started pointing out the pictures being used weren’t tied to “Black Panther” at all.

While others just started to clown the trolls, sharing pics of celebrities like Christian Bale and Uma Thurman and saying their “friend” had been beaten up at “Black Panther.”

The haters have done little to curb excitement for the Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Bosman-led flick, though: “Black Panther” just raced to the biggest 4-day opening in box office history, raking in $242 million in the U.S.