A Reddit user with the username "Naratto" posted a thread to the social site's AdviceAnimals subforum in which he appeared to confess to a murder under the title: "Finally have the guts to say it."
The thread was linked to a version of the popular image macro meme known as "Confession Bear" which Redditors use to make "confessions" many of which are fictitious and usually of no legal consequence.
Naratto claimed in a Confession Bear he posted Saturday night: "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 confession sparked a fierce debate on Reddit, generating more than 3,000 comments and receiving 10,190 upvotes and 8,864 downvotes, IBT reports.
While some redditors appeared more interested in the similarities between the confession and the plot of a popular show, a debate raged around the question whether Naratto was only seeking points known on Reddit as Karma or whether he had just confessed to a true crime of murder.
Many redditors recalling previous incidents of true crime confessions on Reddit were unwilling to dismiss Naratto's confession as a joke. But some felt that the confession was likely a joke because Naratto had used his actual Reddit account rather than a "throwaway" account that cannot be traced to his previous posts on the site to reveal his identity.
IBT reports that a Redditor spacemanspiff30, who said he works in criminal justice, said it was possible that the confession was true. He wrote:
99%of crimes get caught because they are idiots. Cops rarely have to do more than look to the obvious. Hell, people will rat out or be ratted out by their mothers for little to no gain. If this is true, don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that it happened exactly how you think it didn’t.
Within moments of the confession appearing other redditors had uncovered Naratto's particulars, including his name, DOB, jobs, location, FB, Twitter and Myspace accounts.
A debate followed whether to report the incident to the FBI.
A redditor TotalBeefcake, said: "Honestly, I hope this leads to an investigation. He’s probably just harvesting karma, but the idea of someone getting away with murder and then having the nards to gloat about it on a popular website really boils my bottom."
User Katie98 supported reporting to the authorities: "Yup - maybe someone should tell the police. Because you know, murder and all. It would not be hard to find him based on the information he's given."
The Daily Dot confirms that redditors alerted the FBI about the posting.
The confession also sparked a debate about its moral and ethical implications. A redditor Elusiveinhouston argued:
F--- that. He killed a person who was abusing his sister. If it were up to you OP would be spending the next few years in prison. Sure murder is wrong, and there may have been a better solution, but there also may not have been. Maybe it wasn't the best thing to do, I don't know, but I know that OP doesn't deserve to go to prison for it. Prison f------ sucks
Wwad111 responded sarcastically:
So if it's okay to murder someone for abusing your sister, it then must absolutely be okay for the meth addicts family to then murder OP for killing their son. And then everyone can just keep murdering whoever they want, and we can trust people to use their own judgement [sic] as to who deserves to live and die,” they wrote. “There's a shocking amount of dumba---- like elusiveinhouston who don't understand why we live in a society of laws. They didn't make them for no reason. If we ran things your way society would fall apart in a week.
Alarmed at the chain of events that his confession had initiated, Naratto tried to calm down speculations by claiming it was all a joke, but strangely he admitted that there was "some truth behind it." However, he did not say what the truth was.
According to the Clarion Ledger, he wrote:
First and only comment to be made by me.
I posted this wondering what would happen, there is SOME truth behind it, but 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.
If you want to catch a murder, get out of your house, put on some tight and go fight crime. I'm quite done with Reddit tonight.
Back to the shadows of lurking, the world isn't quite ready for me.
The reason for this post and the admittance it was a joke because people started posting my own personal information on there. Not stud that was in my post history. Sure you can find information about ME but link me to something that happened is completely different. I made a meme about something, and it turned into people revealing my PERSONAL INFORMATION. It was quite rude and VERY uncalled for.
He later deleted the comment and posted another meme that said: "If you joke about murder on Reddit without a throw away account... You're gonna have a bad time."
But sensing that the "joke" was out of control he deleted that also, then deleted his entire account.
His clumsy and belated efforts to counter speculations only helped to heighten suspicion that his confession was true.
Meanwhile, it is likely that the FBI are acting on the tip from Reddit users.