A Reddit user has been reported to the FBI for homicide by Redditors after confessing to the murder of his sister’s “meth addict” boyfriend online, using the popular ‘confession bear’ meme. Whether the confession was true remains unclear.
The image of the ashamed and defeated-looking baby black bear was given the caption: “My sister had an abusive meth-addict boyfriend. I killed him with his own drugs while he was unconscious and they ruled it as an overdose.” The picture sparked an ethical debate, and eventually led to the FBI being contacted.
Normally, the bear is used to ‘confess’ trivial and day-to-day matters – many have derided the bear as a tool to convey popular opinion, rather than confessions.
However, when a true confession does emerge, it tends to be fairly tame: “I found my dad’s alter-ego account on a message board. I purposely troll [antagonize] him and laugh after he calls me up to complain about the idiots he talks to online.” Or, boyfriends admitting to tightening jar lids after arguments, so their girlfriends ask for help.
The explosive murder confession meme was posted by user Naratto on the Reddit subforum ‘r/advice animals,’ under the thread title “finally have the guts to say it” late on Saturday night. The thread was later deleted after the original poster dismissed his confession as a joke.
Reddit users quickly ‘doxed’ (revealed) personal details about the user, who appeared not to have been too careful about concealing his identity.
User lionheart1610k pointed out that: “His post history had his middle name and his birthday, plus his job history and military rank, as well as a ton of info about where he lived. A couple people googled his user name and found a steam profile with the same info and a FULL NAME which matched an FB profile and a number of other profiles.”
Naratto quickly backtracked: “There is SOME truth behind it, but I’m not saying,” he said prior to the thread’s deletion. Some speculation ensued, questioning whether the user was just seeking ‘karma’ – points given for highly rated links, which Reddit users can accumulate.
The posting received 3,000 comments on Reddit, 10,190 ‘upvotes’ and 8,864 ‘downvotes.’
“I’m not saying what was true and what wasn’t. If I had a dollar for every time someone took me seriously on the internet, I would be able to retire from today alone. I’m sorry to anyone that I’ve offended to the point of ruining their lives,” Naratto continued.
He followed up his backtracking with the ‘super-cool ski instructor’ meme from South Park, using the caption: “If you joke about murder on Reddit without a throw away account… You’re gonna have a bad time.”
The FBI has now been contacted about a possible murder, after Redditors reported the posting to the FBI’s tips website. “At least one user copy/pasted what was in the deleted comment into tips.fbi.gov,” user 0818 said. If his personal information links to somebody whose sister did have a boyfriend who overdosed, it is likely that an investigation will ensue.