No, You Didn't Just Find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Secret Twitter Account

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 19 2013 10:19 AM

No, You Didn't Just Find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Secret Twitter Account

This is the Twitter profile page of @Dzhokhar_, who happens to share a name and a now-widely-shared profile photo with the Boston bombing suspect who is still at large.

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.10.42 AM

Until today, it was the Twitter account for @FootyTube_. The user just changed his pic, handle, and bio, and started deleting some of the tweets. But up to the moment he switched, he was following the exact same number of people and his last tweet was identical.

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.08.40 AM

Fake social media accounts are a plague of any breaking news event now, but this one took a little more than the usual effort—this owner of an unpopular feed realized that old tweets would give the fraud a whiff of realism. Maybe, like a rival fake tweeter, he'd get a false rumor repeated on the police scanner. So, congratulations! You're an incredible jackass introducing obviously false information into the world during a manhunt that's already left one cop dead!

UPDATE: Now Adrien Chen says that @J_Tsar is the Twitter account to watch. Chen knows whereof he speaks; if he's right, the bomber was sending irreverent messages days after the bombing. But notice that the Twitter account 1) has existed for a while and 2) doesn't feature an obviously ripped-from-news profile pic.

(Hat tip: @Yair_Rosenberg.)

Read more on Slate about the Boston Marathon bombing.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.