Reason number 149,684,594 the internet should be burned to the ground: Trolls on social media are using photos of actual victims of domestic violence to make false claims that white people are being targeted in racially motivated attacks at Black Panther screenings. BuzzFeed reports one photo shared on Twitter is actually an 18-year-old woman who was assaulted by her boyfriend for hours on end; he later pled guilty. Another shows the ex-wife of former White House aide Rob Porter who has accused him of domestic violence. "Fake posts are being created to make black people look bad and the sad part of it is some people will believe them," the New York Daily News quotes one disappointed Twitter user as saying.
Other images used by trolls include a young Swedish woman who was assaulted at a bar in January, a years-old stock photo, and a still from a 2013 video that used special-effects makeup to raise awareness about domestic violence. Vox advises readers to use Google's reverse image search function before believing everything they see online. "It’s possible the trolling is an attempt to scare people away from the theaters and cut into the movie’s bankroll—or it could be yet another example of trolling being used to create a disruptive and ever-more-extreme political environment," the website states. In related news, a number of Twitter users, including Questlove of the Roots, appear genuinely concerned white supremacists could target Black Panther screenings this weekend. (Meanwhile film critics say the hype is real and Black Panther is fantastic.)