Charles Bethea on the white-supremacist group Republic of Florida, which claimed that Nikolas, Cruz, the suspect in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, was a member. But ADL was helping the 4chan trolls shill the story.” so the group would get recruits. "We may be able to double, perhaps almost tripple our numbers,”said one message and went on:, “There is even a woman trying to join us based on what she saw on TV. So I guess we have properly ‘exploited’ this tragedy." What is increasingly clear is that Cruz’s supposed connection to a tiny hate group in north Florida is almost certainly a fiction. Also clear:"Until you have proof, you really shouldn’t write about connections individuals may have to hate groups."