According to UK publication The Independent, “A subsequent tweet included a picture appearing to show a wounded man with the caption from McAnuff’s Twitter account (now suspended) reading ‘Man Down. Mission Completed.'” Thankfully, the police later confirmed it to be just a twisted joke, and the pictured gun an airsoft rifle.
What’s interesting about this story is that it’s not particularly unique. People make threats on social media all the time; people demand retweets and likes all the time. The reason it came to the attention of police and news media is the fusion of the two: social media savvy and negative shock value. The man, Dakkari Dijon McAnuff, achieved his goal–pure unabashed attention-whoring. This kind of attention is propagated by our news (which gives attention to these usually-empty threats) and a hungry social media culture. Who contributed to these 100 RTs? We need to be more purposeful about how we consume and contribute to our media.