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Shashank Tripathi created a panic with false Twitter posts about Superstorm Sandy.
As Superstorm Sandy was destroying property, infrastructure and even lives on the East Coast, millions of people were still clueless to how bad the damage was. Some turned to Twitter, which apparently gave a Twitter user with the handle @ComfortablySmug some sort of power trip.
"BREAKING: Confirmed flooding on NYSE. The trading floor is flooded under more than 3 feet of water," he wrote. His tweet was picked up by several news outlets, including CNN (predictably). And it was retweeted several hundred times. Only, the news wasn't actually true. To be fair, he later sent out a tweet correcting CNN, saying that their NYSE report was "not true."
But that was just one fib he told. He also reported on Twitter that Con Edison had begun to shut down all power in Manhattan and that Governor Cuomo was trapped in Manhattan.
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But as people realized that they were panicking about information that was inaccurate, BuzzFeed figured out his identity and outed him: the "Twitter troll" is Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and the campaign manager of Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the US House from New York’s 12th Congressional District.
Tripathi has apologized on his Twitter account, and announced his resignation from Wight's campaign. New York Magazine reports that he also contributed to their anonymous "Sex Diary" blog series in 2008.