A week ago Saturday, a reddit user named Naratto used the Confession Bear meme to discuss a murder. "My sister had an abusive meth addict boyfriend," Naratto posted. "I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose."
This declaration escalated into a Big Internet Incident, thanks to Naratto's fellow redditors, who took the image macro seriously enough to ferret out the account owner's personal information—biographical details from his reddit history that he'd willingly shared—and to compile it immediately on the same community site that's ardently defended the right to online privacy, even as a protection for despicable privacy-violating behavior. Although moderators soon deleted the data dump, Naratto's information was still in circulation; so thanks to reddit's own hypocritical sleuthing, the Naratto account could easily be traced to a 24-year-old with ties to San Diego, Colton Goodbrand.
Yesterday, Goodbrand wrote to our corporate overlord Nick Denton to confirm that, yes, he did post those words about killing his sister's abusive ex on a bear picture. "I did indeed make the post on reddit, but that doesn't make it true," he emailed, describing the claim that he killed someone as a "rumor." Except that the claim is a rumor he started, and now admits to having started, which makes the allegation that Colton Ryder Goodbrand confessed, however unseriously, to having murdered his sister's abusive ex on Reddit, via meme, a fact.
The note also confirms that Goodbrand did indeed author this Gawker comment, threatening to the call the cops. Except that according to the LA Weekly, the San Diego Police were investigating the situation. So perhaps they'd appreciate his call?
Goodbrand's note in full:
From: Colton Goodbrand
Date: Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM
Subject: Invasion of privacy with malicious intent
To: Nick Denton
Hello, my name is Colton Ryder Goodbrand. There is a post about me, which is spreading a rumor that I killed someone.
I did indeed make the post on reddit, but that doesn't make it true. I made that post under a pseudonym to avoid tying it directly to my name. I knew that if an investigation was put underway by any law enforcement agency they could easily track it back to me. What I was not expecting was the Justice League of the Internet to band together and continuously post sensitive personal information about me and my family on numerous websites.
I am requesting the removal of this post, and any future post about me, my family, or anything I've ever posted on the internet. Non compliance in this will result in me seeking legal action for invasion of privacy with malicious intent, and defamation of character.
[photos via QuickMeme and YouTube]