Business Insider was the first to report that the images were being shared on 4chan, a website that gained notoriety for spreading pro-Trump memes and messages during the 2016 presidential election.
In 2017, members of this online community also attacked Starbucks, promoting “Dreamer Day,” where immigrants would be given discounts. It was also a hoax.
The coffee giant has been under fire since a video of the two black men being arrested Thursday at a Starbucks in Philadelphia went viral over the weekend. The woman who posted the video said that staff at the coffee shop had called police because the two men had not ordered anything while they waited for a friend to arrive. Starbucks said earlier this week that the manager of the shop was “no longer at that store.”
Starbucks said Tuesday it will be closing all of its company-owned restaurants in the U.S. during the afternoon of May 29 to conduct a racial-bias education program.