If the internet is to be believed, one pro-Trumper dad just made a big mistake on Twitter.
In the aftermath of the attempted coup on the Capitol building, in which an armed mob of white rioters stormed the hall of lawmakers with pipe bombs and guns and attempted to stop them from certifying the election, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been attempting to figure out who was at the riot. They’ve solicited help from the public, asking people to submit tips and photos to their online portal if they recognize who was at the riot, in order to ID them and potentially charge them with serious crimes, due to the nature of the event itself — an act of sedition.
Many netizens have noted that plenty of the prominent faces at the event are already widely known on the internet as prominent and public QAnon and Trump supporters and that the FBI shouldn’t actually need that much help finding out who they are. But other people who attended the protest, or who knew people who attend the protest have just decided to, accidentally, perhaps, rat out their loved ones. Oh well!
Add that to the fact that wearing a face mask to protect yourself from COVID is now somehow a political statement /subject of conspiracy theories, the vast majority of these protestors are easily identifiable through photos. But one dad, it seems, just told on his son in the dumbest way.
A story in 3 Acts: pic.twitter.com/kWH7gPFVor
— Can I peg you, @SethRogen ?? (@MrsKhandiCoated) January 7, 2021
The dad, who was on Twitter as “Patriot Richard,” posted a photo of what appears to be his son standing next to a statue in the Capitol building, with a Trump flag affixed to it. He wrote: “THATS MY SON!!!! I LOVE YOU BOY @CTittleman EVERY TRUMP SUPPORTER come to DC NOW to stop this steal” with a series of hashtags including #January6th, #MarchToSaveAmerica, #StopTheSteal2021, #BidenFamilyCorruption, and #DCProtests.
Hashtags, for people like “Patriot Richard” who clearly wasn’t thinking this move through, are a way of making tweets extremely findable. Anyone, say, an FBI agent, could use these half a dozen massively utilized hashtags during the protests and find this dad, whose handle is @GOPMichigan (not to be confused with the official GOP Michigan Twitter, @MIGOP) and see the Tweet of a guy identifying his son committing a federal crime on federal property during an illegal insurrection on the capitol building.
But is it true? Deep in the replies of the post, someone noted that the Twitter account might actually be fake — and that the account is a long-game troll. The evidence is that at some point, “Patriot Richard” said that everything in the account is satire. “Everything this account is satire. Literally made it obvious with the all caps typing I’m not even a dad… But atleast the fbi has that guys face,” he said.
— thaddeus e. grugq (@thegrugq) January 8, 2021
Maybe it’s true that the account is satire — or maybe it’s a last-ditch effort to wash his hands of publicly identifying his son to the FBI. But if it is, why did he delete the account? It could be that the joke got out of hand — and h had had enough.
Either way, the series of tweets went about as expected. Just a day after “Patriot Richard” either seriously or as satire, exclaimed his love for his son (if it’s true), he then tweeted, “Why is the FBI contacting me?” Shortly after that tweet, “Patriot Richard” deleted his Twitter altogether — which, frankly, is way too little and way too late. The FBI knows who you are (if you’re really real.)