Twitter’s Hurricane Sociopath Unmasked

October 31, 2012

The Adventures of an Accordion Guy in the Twenty First Century:

While Hurricane Sandy was hammering Manhattan, a Twitter user with the handle of @ComfortablySmug made a series of alarming tweets to his 6,500+ followers, including:

  • BREAKING: Confirmed flooding on NYSE. The trading floor is flooded under more than 3 feet of water.
  • BREAKING MT @jhlipton: Con Ed shut down lower Manhattan system due to high tides
  • BREAKING: Con Edison has begun shutting down ALL power in Manhattan
  • BREAKING: CON EDISON SHUTTING OFF ALL POWER IN NEW YORK CITY AT 3AM IN ANTICIPATION OF POWER SURGES FROM HURRICANE SANDY

The problem with these posts? They’re all false. He made them up, for kicks.

Many people think that the sort of people who indulge in this sort of act — it’s the old “Yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre” hypothetical come true — is the sort of thing that some bored layabout would do. After all, isn’t the saying “Idle hands are the Devil’s Nintendo”?

It turns out that @ComfortablySnug is one Shashank Tripathi, isn’t some bored student or some troublemaker from the Occupy camp. In fact, he’s the opposite: he’s a hedge fund analyst with Stone Street Advisors.

He was also — and really, should we be surprised? — the campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the U.S. House from New York’s 12th Congressional District. According to BuzzFeed, FEC documents show Wight has paid Tripathi thousands of dollars this election cycle as a “consultant”, and this Meetup page names him as the go-to guy for a Republican “Super Monday” event. He resigned from the position as soon as word got out that he was falsely crying “power outage”, and I’m sure the Repubs will work hard to distance themselves from this feeder on misery.

A New York councilman is talking to the DA, to see if charges can be pressed against Tripathi. Over on the tech news site GigaOmJeff John Roberts ponders whether Tripathi’s acts were just immoral or if they were also illegal.

Tripathi has since issued an apology by Twitter. It’s got all the flavour of “I’m sorry I got caught”.

Didn’t Tripathi have better things to do?

-

(I would add, “…..in addition to his other hobbies of smothering kittens and pulling the wings off butterflies. Is it really a surprise that he is both a Wall Streeter, and a GOP operative?”..PS)

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12 Responses to “Twitter’s Hurricane Sociopath Unmasked”


  1. No surprise. Michael Brown (Heck of a job Brownie) was sending email jokes about having to work during Katrina.

  2. omnologos Says:

    Comfortably Smug indeed. I wish quartering were back in fashion!!!

    • NevenA Says:

      So not a friend of yours, eh? He seems to like to play games.

      I wonder what his views on AGW are.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        is there any doubt?

        • omnologos Says:

          The guy’s so stupid, he doesn’t even understand he could have had a nice, long, lucrative and safe career in the CAGW circuit.

          See what I mean:

          BREAKING: Confirmed threat of future flooding on NYSE. The trading floor might be flooded under more than 3 feet of water by the end of the century
          BREAKING MT @jhlipton: Con Ed could shut down lower Manhattan system due to high tides in 2080
          BREAKING: Con Edison will possibly begin shutting down ALL power in Manhattan in the 2100′s
          BREAKING: CON EDISON MAY BE FORCED TO SHUT OFF ALL POWER IN NEW YORK CITY AT 3AM ON OCTOBER 4, 2124 IN ANTICIPATION OF POWER SURGES FROM HURRICANE WHATEVER

          Bil McKibben couldn’t have said it better…

  3. Martin Lack Says:

    I don’t get it. What on Earth was he trying to achieve by spreading fear and anxiety? Was the reality of this situation not bad enough? How did he think his actions could help his favoured candidate?


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