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A Racist Gamer Group Has Been Posing As Baltimore Looters On Twitter

They are using the hashtag #BaltimoreLootCrew and old photos to "paint African Americans in a bad light." BuzzFeed News talked to some of the trolls behind the stunt.

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Editor's note: The people interviewed in this story have since claimed online they were dishonest in interviews. BuzzFeed cannot verify the accuracy of their statements or their involvement. Original story continues below.

Social media has played an important role in the recent protests over police brutality by helping to spread awareness and support, but it is also vulnerable to the exploitation of internet trolls.

The racist group ColorCabal has been using social media in an attempt to make people think old photos represent looters in Baltimore.

lil jo n da crew wid that newnew loot #BaltimoreLootCrew

This picture is actually from the British riots of 2011.

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During the riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, members of the openly racist and white supremacist 8chan affiliated group began creating tweets by fake "looters" under the hashtag #BaltimoreLootCrew.

For those who are unfamiliar, 8chan and 4chan are open message boards that often stage large-scale and highly offensive or destructive internet pranks and "cyberterrorism," including the misogynist GamerGate.

#BaltimoreRiots #BALTIMORELOOTCREW YOOOOOOOOO WE EATIN' FAM THANKS FOR THE CASH, CRACKERS

This photo is from a viral news story from 2013.

ColorCabal is the self-titled "enforcement branch of GamerGate" whose focus is to smear minorities and women so as to remove them from the gaming community, member "Juice" and former member Moff Alexander told BuzzFeed News via Twitter.

He also said the group's mission is to "enforce gaming ethics" and that everyone in the group self-identifies as racist.

It has 36 official members mostly in North America and Canada and its self-proclaimed "supreme commander" goes by @A_Man_In_Green.

#BALTIMORERIOTS #BALTIMORELOOTCREW YALL GOT LAPTOPS? I DO 😂😂😂😂😫😫😫

It has now expanded beyond the gaming world and into "anything that will help paint African Americans in a bad light," Alexander said to BuzzFeed News.

Bringing my little brother too loot with me #BlackLivesMatter #FreddieGray #BALTIMORELOOTCREW #Baltimore

This kid was featured in a story earlier this month on a Fox Memphis segment on controversial Instagrams. His profile picture is of a videographer/rapper named VonMar.

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This is the not the first Twitter prank of its kind. Alexander, who was a paid "mercenary" (meaning troll and organizer) for ColorCabal, told BuzzFeed News there was also a less successful #FergusonLootCrew.

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The account from "Tanisha" has now been deleted, but on Twitter is mentioned almost exclusively in conversations about violent anime porn. The image of the makeup is also from a 2012 beauty blog post, and the avatar picture for "Tanisha" is of Canadian rapper Honey Cocaine.

Though the prevalence of anime profile pictures might make this an obvious prank to some, many were fooled by the tweets.

DONT EVEN NOW WHAT I TOOK #BALTIMORELOOTCREW #BALTIMORERIOTS

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Alexander said that this prank will not be the last of its kind. "They're waiting for the next school shooting to happen to make a 'Loot Crew' for that," he said.

So next time you see some questionable tweets, make good use of reverse Google image search.

Or you could just use your common sense.

To stay in your best rioting shape I recommend a raw vegan diet! taking a reprieve for dinner #baltimorelootcrew

Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Ema O'Connor at ema.oconnor@buzzfeed.com.

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