A man creeps up to a group of cowboys who are dressed in white from head to toe. They’re all wearing hats — pointy ones. In the background, a remixed folk song plays. Right as the beat drops, the man shoots them down one by one, in style. As the video captions tell it, these aren’t just any Red Dead Online victims — they’re folks intentionally dressing up to look like the KKK. And the account uploading the video has made a name for himself as the guy who hunts these players down.
It might not be real. But it’s become incredibly successful. The user behind these popular videos, Yuhboi, has racked up over 3 million likes and nearly 125k followers on TikTok. And the first three videos in the series, which began in July, have over 7.3 million views. Many of their videos follow a similar format. Yuhboi first ‘finds’ some players dressed in white clothes and masks. Often, these players are beating or holding hostage a black NPC. But sometimes they’re just congregating for no apparent reason.
Thanks to the all-white attire — along with documented cases of trolls who transform themselves into the KKK using mods — the assumption is that all of the enemies featured in the video are racist. Why else would they be dressed like that? So, Yuhboi attacks the group in various ways. Sometimes they use guns, other times explosives, and occasionally a knife or an ax. The end result is always the same. The group is killed in seconds, the black NPC is freed, and Yuhboi celebrates. He almost always promises more racists will die soon. It’s a noble job and one which seems to have clicked with a bunch of people online.
Except, based on my knowledge of the game and years playing it, I’m 99% sure all of these KKK-slaying videos are staged and faked. Let me explain.
The first giveaway is how often Yuhboi seems to encounter groups of racists in RDO who are all wearing white KKK-inspired outfits. Red Dead Online does indeed have racist players; I’ve seen them myself a few times. Once, a small group was running around a town yelling about how they wanted to kill all the n-word players in the lobby. Another time I saw someone dragging a black NPC while calling them a monkey. There have also been documented cases of players dressing in white to be arseholes, though they are few and far between.
Encountering these arseholes once or even twice seems plausible if you’re a regular player who puts in tons of hours. But Yuhboi is apparently running into these folks constantly enough to devote an entire series to killing these players. That is — if they’re players.
Another thing that raises eyebrows is how often these “racists” never seem to fight back or react the way most players getting attacked in a game like this would. In all my hours playing the game, I’ve never seen anything like what’s in the video. Instead, so-called KKK are often conveniently standing next to explosive barrels or menacing cliffs that can make for cinematic moments while Yuhboi kills them. It’s a little too convenient on multiple fronts. How is he doing it?
It could be that he’s gotten a group of friends to repeatedly dress up like the KKK just to be killed for clout. But if you look at the rest of the TikTok videos on the account, there is clear evidence of the uploader using mods on PC to create silly, strange, and weird scenarios and events. For example, in one video Yuhboi is attacked by a robot. However, while that robot does exist in the game, it’s not in Red Dead Online. The robot can only be found in singleplayer and it will never attack you. The only way to get this to happen is with some PC modding shenanigans.
Kotaku has tried getting into contact with the player multiple times, with no response. Despite many of the obvious red flags here, most of the folks watching either don’t notice or don’t care. The KKK-killer has racked up millions of views with these short clips. After all, it’s kind of gratifying to watch in-game racists get merked over and over.
Previously, modders would take models from single-player missions where the KKK appear and pull them into the multiplayer. Rockstar attempted to remove the exploit from Red Dead Online via an update in June 2020, but there have been scattered reports since then that fans have found ways around it.
Speaking to other RDO experts with countless hours in the game, many have similar suspicions.
“I don’t want to say it’s staged, but something doesn’t feel totally right about it all,” said a rep from Red Dead Online news, who was part of the much-publicized protest against Rockstar via in-game clowns.
“Maybe I’m being cynical, but it just seems like a bit of a coincidence [that] someone with a history of posting RDO videos just happens to bump into a racist posse so often.”
Then again, does it even matter if the videos are fake or not? It seems Yuhboi isn’t a fan of racist players or the KKK, but is a fan of Red Dead Online. He appears to have found a way to combine the two into a successful series. Even if they are fake, not only are they well-edited bangers, folks still get the cathartic release of watching KKK-stand-ins die over and over. Considering how few updates RDO gets these days, the only thing players like Yuhboi can do to keep enjoying the game without official support is to get creative.