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Don't Believe These Horrible People Who Are Posting Fake Photos Of Baltimore 'Looters'

04/30/2015 07:26 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2015

Some Internet trolls with too much time on their hands are attempting to spread misinformation about the Freddie Gray protests and perpetuate ugly ideas about the riots and protests that have taken place in Baltimore in recent days.

Tweets using the hashtag #baltimorelootcrew have disseminated a series of bogus, out-of-context and otherwise inflammatory images -- like one of a destroyed KFC ... that's actually located in Pakistan. And was destroyed in 2012.

Or this user, whose hoax photo purports to show the "Baltimore Loot Crew," but is actually of some young people in England in 2011.

Or this tweet from Thursday that uses an image that dates back to at least 2011.

While looting indisputably did occur in the unrest that unfolded Monday in Baltimore, users of social media who spread misinformation cause their own special kind of harm. In a situation already fraught with tension and misunderstanding, these images represent a deliberate attempt to promote and isolate perceptions of the community as violent and unrepentantly criminal.

The reality is much more complicated, as groups of Baltimore residents often worked to protect stores from looters or stop the violence, cleaned up after the melee, and some have even turned themselves in to police.

Vice's Motherboard identifies several of the Twitter accounts posting fake photos as having associations with 8chan and GamerGate.

Meanwhile, a number of other Twitter users are attempting to counteract the misinformation with posts calling out the hoax.

As a recent Medium posts notes, a simple reverse image search on Google can help to identify misattributed images that get slipped into the steady stream of Twitter updates that tend to accompany protests. Alternet points out that a similar campaign, with a similar hashtag, was perpetuated in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Also on HuffPost:

  • Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools march in protest chanting "Justice for Freddie Gray" on their way to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools gather before a march to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • A member of the National Guard stands outside Baltimore City Hall as marchers protest the death of Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Protestors march Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered critical injuries while in police custody. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • A protestor raises his fist outside of Baltimore City Hall as marchers protest the death of Freddie Gray, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • A member of the National Guard stands watch outside a neighborhood next to the Mondawmin Mall, scene of some of Monday's riots following Freddie Gray's funeral, as a mother passes with her children, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Schools closed Tuesday because of the mayhem, but reopened Wednesday, after the city's first night of a curfew went off without the widespread violence many had feared. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • Students from Digital Harbor High School chant "We Love Baltimore" as they march outside City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • Protestors march to City Hall on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. Hundreds of protesters, many of them students wearing backpacks, marched through downtown, calling for swift justice in the case of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered critical injuries while in police custody. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 29: Students from Baltimore colleges and high schools march in protest chanting "Justice for Freddie Gray" on their way to City Hall April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remains on edge in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, though the city has been largely peaceful following a day of rioting this past Monday. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
  • A man raises his fists during an outdoor concert by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in support of the community in Baltimore, Maryland on April 29, 2015. Riot police in the US city of Baltimore enforced a curfew into the early hours of Wednesday and called it a success, emptying streets scarred by a spasm of rioting and looting. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
  • People participate in a rally for the family of Freddie Gray outside the Maryland state's attorney's office on April 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Houses housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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