As President Donald Trump took office, actor Shia LeBeouf teamed up with collaborators Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö on an interactive art installment entitled “He Will Not Divide Us.” Due to face-offs between LeBeouf and anti-Trump activists, Trump supporters, and white supremacists, the exhibit was removed from New York’s Museum of the Moving Image and deemed a public safety hazard. Similar skirmishes—punctuated by gunfire near the exhibit—led the collective to pull the plug on “He Will Not Divide Us” a month later after it was relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On March 8, a tweet from the official “He Will Not Divide Us” feed announced a livestream was broadcast from an “unknown location.” Less than a day later, the exhibit's eponymous flag was missing, with a group of pro-Trump supporters from the /pol/ section of the site 4chan taking credit.
Based on publicly available posts from 4chan members in the /pol/ section, the exhibit’s live camera feed was its undoing. As the feed featured footage of the “He Will Not Divide Us” flag, /pol/ members began tracking the location after a fan posted a picture of herself with LeBeouf at a diner in Greenville, Tennessee.
Shia Labeouf may or may not have came in Aunt Beas and ate 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/PJFIVZWQu4— Laiken Morrow (@LaikShow32) March 5, 2017
Users narrowed down on the Tennessee location by cross-referencing flight patterns with contrails seen near the “He Will Not Divide Us” flag on the stream. Once a local /pol/ member drove near the suspected location and the car’s horn was heard in the background of the stream, the mystery was solved. One of 2017’s hardest troll jobs was confirmed as the culprit posted a picture of the stolen “He Will Not Divide Us” flag.
Pro-Trump and white supremacists post still populate the /pol/ section of 4chan. The site offers a level of online anonymity and is largely unregulated, which has linked it to encouraging a man livestreaming his online suicide attempt, as well as (along with Reddit) helping to spread stolen, nude images of celebrities referred to as “The Fappening.”