Peaceful protesters stop livestreamer from instigating violence

Protesters called out a Twitch streamer

Peaceful protesters stop livestreamer from instigating violence

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Protesters called out a Twitch streamer for attempting to provoke violence after he encouraged them to flip a police car on camera

(Source: @LAndriukaitis/DFRLab via Twitter/archive)

A live video platform Twitch streamer tried to instigate violence by encouraging protesters to flip a police car. Protesters confronted him, causing him to run away and delete all of his videos online.

On June 1, 2020, peaceful protesters in New York were approached by a Twitch and YouTube streamer known as “Carl iii.” He is, apparently, a troll known for making provocative videos and attempting to provoke peaceful protesters. After the incident, his YouTube channel, together with his other social media accounts, disappeared or had much of their content removed.

“Carl iii”

Carl iii appears to be a small-time social media persona and provocateur, having filmed several cringeworthy videos both before and during the recent protests in which he attempts to incite chaos. It seems that, after the latest incident, he deleted all of the videos from his YouTube channels, his Twitter account, and Twitch channel, limiting further investigation. Yet some of his videos were reposted by other alt-right-leaning accounts.
 One such video appeared on YouTube with an IP2.Network logo on it. The IP2.Network, according to its Twitter page, is a group of self-described “shitposters,” Some of the group’s recent tweets include videos of its members stopping passersby in the street to apologize for George Floyd’s death, or “for being white.” Carl iii also appeared in a YouTube video made by another online troll, Smooth Sanchez. In the video, Carl iii is shown dramatically apologizing to passersby for “being white” while sporting oversized shackles on his arms.

The incident

On June 1, as Carl iii was livestreaming a video of the protests in New York City, he approached a group of peaceful protesters and asked them to flip a police truck. The protesters immediately called him out as an instigator, and he fled the scene.

Geolocation suggested that the incident took place on the corner of 7th Avenue and W 15th Street, right next to J’s Pizza restaurant.

Geolocation revealed that the incident took place on 7th street, next to J’s Pizza. (Source: defnoodles/archive, top; Google Maps, bottom, right)

Comparison with other videos uploaded by Carl iii allowed for confirmation of his identity. In a video uploaded on March 27, he is wearing the same mask and backpack as in the video uploaded on June 1. In all of the above-mentioned videos, he is wearing the same pair of glasses and a white shirt.

Comparison of man purported to be Carl iii in the video of the incident (left) with the man appearing in other available videos online (right) suggests a clear match. (Source: Twitter, left; YouTube, top right; YouTube, bottom right)

The incident was streamed live on Twitch, and there are multiple videos shot from varying points of view available for cross-referencing.

The protesters in the video had been preparing for a peaceful demonstration before Carl iii approached them. The same people can be seen in a video posted prior to the incident, where the rally organizers give verbal instructions to stay non-violent and respect law enforcement.

Judging from his previous videos, his reaction to the protesters calling him out, and the fact that he deleted all of his social media profiles after the incident, it seems that Carl iii was hoping to troll the protesters in exchange for some online clout — but quickly realized that his attempt had gone awry.

Lukas Andriukaitis is an Associate Director with the Digital Forensic Research Lab.

Follow along for more in-depth analysis from our #DigitalSherlocks.