Vandal Squad Instagram Creator Confirms It Was a Hoax

May 15, 2014 | Andy Cush

For a brief moment earlier this week, graffiti writers, photographers, and enthusiasts were freaked out at the specter of an NYPD Vandal Squad Instagram account. ANIMAL reached out to the squad to inquire about the account’s veracity, who told us they “wouldn’t allow such a thing on Instagram.” Clearly, this was some sort of hoax.

Today, the Instagram user Questionizm took credit for the stunt. He wrote:

Gotcha! After only 12 hours, my fun vandal squad experiment was over. I intended this as a lesson in internet privacy and I had typical results. Everyone believed it. No one tried to verify anything, took it as a legit account. Do you really think the police would be so brazen? That you could protect yourselves by blocking them? You’re foolish to think the police aren’t reading this right now, and prowling through all of our pictures. I received a shocking amount of messages, some hate, some snitching. Stay tuned for updates on how easy it is to fool graffiti writers, and how easy it is to get information.

Questionizm says he heard from New Yorkers eager to snitch on writers. One screenshot shows a message detailing the location of a popular spot:

We’ve reached out to Questionizm for more details.