Fact Check

Are White People Being Assaulted at Showings of 'Black Panther'?

Online trolls tried to push claims of violence, but they were quickly foiled by others on social media.

Published Feb. 16, 2018

Updated Feb. 19, 2018
White people have been attacked by black filmgoers at showings of "Black Panther."

As the Marvel Entertainment film Black Panther opened in the U.S. in February 2018, some social media users attempted to put a damper on the occasion by posting fake accounts of anti-white attacks only to be foiled by other users' photo-sleuthing skills.

One photo posted on Twitter reportedly generated around 400 retweets before being debunked. The image showed a towel soaked in blood over a sink alongside the caption:

Was at the #blackpanther premiere but a group of black youths said this movie wasnt for me. I am white. They then proceeded to assault me. Im heading to the ER now.

But other users quickly noted that the picture was actually posted on the photo-sharing platform Flickr in 2009.

Twitter suspended the account behind that fake post, as well as the one that attempted to pass off a picture of a 19-year-old Swedish woman's bloodied face. She was actually attacked at a bar in Malmo, despite false claims the photo was taken after an "assault" connected to the film, which features a nearly all-black cast:

Another user attempted to pass himself off as 23-year-old Michael Voller, who was hit in the face in London in May 2017 in an attack that was reportedly precipitated by anger over the results of a FA Cup soccer semifinal match:

There is no indication that these posts are coordinated, but another social media user passing themselves off as the victim of an assault — this one using a photo taken from a British makeup artist's porfolio — showed off their "work" on a message board in the web site 4chan:

And yet another claimed in a Twitter post that his "older brother Kenan" suffered a ruptured eardrum after an attack:

But that account was also debunked by users who showed that the picture attached was actually taken from a story about an actual assault in Dallas, Texas.

Despite these types of smear attempts, reports estimated that Black Panther was on track to earn between $200 million and $205 million at the box office for its opening weekend.


Silverman, Craig.    "Trolls Are Posting Fake Claims Of Being Assaulted At Showings Of 'Black Panther.'"    Buzzfeed.    16 February 2018.

Aftonbladet.    "Sophie Blev Slagen Blodig av Tafsande Man."    29 January 2018.

Cockerell, Jennifer.    "Image Released of Spurs Fan who Attacked Fellow Supporter He Thought Was a Chelsea Fan."    The Independent.    17 May 2017.

D'Allesandro, Anthony.    "‘Black Panther’ Sprinting Toward Historic $200M+ 4-Day Weekend – Midday Update."    Deadline.    16 February 2018.

Nicholson, Eric. "A Dallas Man Was Beaten Unconscious Outside Jenna Jameson's Birthday Party at Le Vu (Updated)." Dallas Observer. 29 April 2013.


Update [19 February 2018]: Added another example of a fake "attack" post that was debunked on social media.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.