Black Panther premiered Thursday night in the U.S., which marked the release of the first Marvel movie with a mostly black cast centering around a technologically advanced country in Africa that was never colonized. The idea that all the main characters, including the titular Black Panther, are played by black actors has attracted a lot of attention for being a hallmark of representation at the movies, and rightly so.
But where there’s a healthy, progressive thing happening in pop culture, there’s always some racist idiots scheming against it. Among all the deserved hype around the movie on social media, at least two unhappy people decided to spread some seriously offensive fake news: in a tweet, two supposedly white people alleged that they had gone to a screening of Black Panther last night and been attacked by black people at the theater as a result.
If the fact that this is an actual thing that has to be reported on makes you sigh with the fatigue of someone who knows what it’s like to be a person of color in this country, there is at least a small silver lining. Despite the two fake news tweets including photos in an attempt to make their racist drivel appear more legit, the images only helped countless people debunk the tweets faster than T’Challa could arrive to put them in their place.
One tweet, which claimed an “assault” had sent the author to the ER, used a photo that can easily be found on Google Images when searching for “blood on paper towel.” It stems from a Flickr account and was posted in 2009.
A second troll used photos from a Jan. 30 Daily Mail article about a teenager from Sweden who was assaulted and then attacked by an unknown man in a nightclub.
Both accounts are clearly manned by trolls. The former retweeted some tweets that suggested he was just trying to rile up black Twitter; a trip down the latter’s timeline is a confusing mess of incongruous alt-right opinions, not recommended at all.
But these were not the only trolls trying to incite some racial animus on Twitter today. The below photos comes from a horrific 2016 article about an 18-year-old woman who was beaten for four hours by her boyfriend because she refused to get him a cigarette.
The following stole a photo from articles about the ex-wife of disgraced White House Staff secretary Rob Porter.
Went to the #BlackPanther premier tonight and my wife was assaulted. Three black women approached us and one said "This movie ain't for you white b****" and then attacked her. Security escorted us to the parking lot and we left. We just wanted to see a movie. pic.twitter.com/Xhc28gr3nB— Miami Marino™ 🌹 (@DSA_Boi_Pucci) February 16, 2018
These fake news tweets are not only ridiculous but demonstrate in real time how quickly fake news can spread and how easily it is to fabricate a story.
Despite the seriousness of the matter, the best part of this whole ordeal are the reactions. Most took the time to debunk the allegations, but after realizing the tweets were obviously and provably fake, many injected a dose of much needed humor to the situation. Lots of people made the same joke, poking fun at journalists who reach out regularly to Twitter users to ask for permission to use their posts in stories, and others took a classic Twitterized meme approach. Check out some of the best responses below.