As Superstorm Sandy was pummeling the U.S. East Coast Monday night, people were sending real-time updates through social media sites, giving observers around the world a window into the chaos. But one man sent out several false breaking news alerts that perpetuated a ripple effect of misinformation.
Twitter user @ComfortablySmug sent out inaccurate tweets of events on the ground in New York City Monday night. But the one that got the most attention was a claim that the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange was under more than 3 feet of water. The claims may not have been initiated by @ComfortablySmug, but the report was re-tweeted several hundred times.
BuzzFeed has reported the identity of @ComfortablySmug as 29-year-old hedge fund analyst Shashank Tripathi.
According to BuzzFeed, Tripathi penned several comments on NYMag.com, and even wrote a candid sex diary entry on the website under the same Twitter handle.
Tripathi was also the campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, a Republican candidate for New York's 12th Congressional District.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter followers Wednesday, Tripathi apologized for making a series of "irresponsible and inaccurate tweets." He also reported that he has resigned from Wight's campaign.
Read Tripathi's tweets below.
Tripathi has not sent out a tweet since.