The Drudge Report is helping to stir up a panic that looters are going to come and take your stuff -- yes, you, you right there, sitting in your home, feeling frustrated an vulnerable -- you are about to get your stuff stolen by looters. Drudge links to a post by Paul Joseph Watson at the Alex Jones site InfoWars in which he exposes the looming threat gathering not in some dark alley, not in an ex-con's apartment, but on Twitter. "Many of the tweets are written in such a way as to suggest that looting under such circumstances is justifiable," he writes. "None of the tweets express any concern at a law enforcement or National Guard response." Yes, but almost all of them do express jokes.
For example, take the man who tweeted this terrible threat: "Bout to do some looting when this hurricane finally hits....gonna get a new laptop and tv...this hurricane might be the best thing to happen." This user, @Call_me_WORM, is pictured above. Worm is, it is fairly clear from his bio, a frat boy. "SAE...phi alpha born...phi alpha bred...and when i die ill be phi alpha dead," his profile says.
In fact, exactly none of the people InfoWars cites as "individuals planning to go on looting sprees" shows any sign of being anything but someone who was joking around on Twitter. The guy on the left, @LucasEmil_10, tweeted, "If this hurricane gets real bad I'm looting stores ! i always wanted to do that …" tweets . His profile is less forthcoming than Brother Worm's, but he is wearing a chef's hat in his avatar. The next imminent threat is @Adoo_S, whose bio describes himself as a 15-year-old high school sophomore (and looks it in his avatar) and has threatened to "go looting once this hurricane hits Utica." Of course, by the time Sandy hits the upstate New York town on Wednesday, it's forecast to be downgraded to a "tropical depresion." The next "looter," @OpTicTUMORS has already deleted the tweet quoted by InfoWars, but its avatar, which shows two menacing competitive video game players, it sounds more like male trash talk than statement of criminal intent. The last cited tweet, by
@garretroetzer came from a guy who wears Ireland T-shirts with Irish-colored eyeblack in pubs. His tweet, "Who wants to go looting with me when Sandy hits?! I need some new shit!" also sounds somewhat hard to believe because he lives in Buffalo, which is also safely out of the Sandy's biggest danger zone.
Several other threatening looters have deleted their tweets, having perhaps lost confidence in their nefarious plots once they were exposed on InfoWars. Yet, the obvious absolute fakeness of the looting threats has not stopped people from freaking the f out. Or, more precisely, from vocalizing their desire to shoot people after years of frustrations working under florescent lights with a female boss. Or whatever it is their problem is.
"You haven't tasted freedom like an MRE provided by the National Guard when they move in after storms. That & their M16s keeping looters away," tweets Ryan Duffy, spokesman for the speaker of the Florida house of representatives. Others want to imagine doing the shooting themselves. "I'm ready for the looters" @ink_n_metal tweets with a photo of his weapon, at left. "I'm sitting in front of my house with my shotgun, start blasting fools, only looters would be out in this sh*tstorm," says @gecco83.
An internet radio host tweeting as @bakedflounder is just cold going nuts on these random Twitter looters, tweeting at the 15-year-old Adoo, "Please come to my house, I need to test my new shotgun on a dirtbag, free-stuff loving, Obama voting punk.#SprayBrainMatter." Perhaps this flounder person had a difficult time in high school.
Poor Lucas has been harassed my many many strange people on Twitter who appear to have no other outlet for their anger. "All you middle aged , drunk , mountain people shut the fuck up and get a life," he tweeted, pegging the demographic perhaps too narrowly. Calling them mountain people probably overestimates their survival skills, otherwise they wouldn't be quite so panicked by a few tweets.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.