Monday evening the nation was relieved to read that the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) had a suspect for the slaying of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a participant in the large caravan of President Donald Trump supporters that was clashing with residents of Portland at the time. News agencies including Fox, MSN, and Breitbart were publishing the name and age of a suspect that they claimed an officer close to the case had leaked. This was despite the fact that also on Monday, a spokesperson with PPB would not confirm the Oregonian report and stated that commenting on any information that hasn’t been publicly released could compromise the active homicide investigation. As of this writing the PPB Media Relations page had this to say about the case:
“It is still early in this investigation, and I ask everyone to give the detectives time to do their important work before drawing conclusions about what took place,” said Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “If anyone can provide information about this case, I ask them to please reach out to our detectives. This violence is completely unacceptable and we are working diligently to find and apprehend the individual or individuals responsible.”
Nearly all of the articles cited the Oregonian as the source of the name of the alleged suspect. A simple google search shows that the first time Oregonlive.com mentions the suspect’s name is at August 30th, 7:48 PM. Though another google search for the suspects name turns up a load of hits four hours before on 4chan/pol.
4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard website. The site hosts boards dedicated to a wide variety of topics, from anime and manga to video games, music, literature, fitness, politics, and sports, among others. Registration is not possible, and the sites users post Anonymously. Many will remember that 4chan is the original online home of the hacking collective Anonymous. It’s also where Kekistan, Qanon, Lulzboat and countless other internet phenomenon have begun or run their course. 4chan is a safe haven for some of the most obnoxious and unsociable denizens of the interwebs, it’s also, occasionally the spawning ground for really great ideas.
In this case it took a little less than 12 hours for the pol board, or politically incorrect board, to have found their “killer.”
It appears that the deductive process used to “prove” their case, among other things, was the shape of the alleged suspects mouth. The earliest mentions we found of the alleged suspect were made Sunday morning. Mob doxing has a horrible success rate, but as one Anon pointed out, 4chan has had their successes, if few.
The important thing to notice about this thread is that it takes place 4 hours before oregonlive.com announced that their secret source had announced that the main suspect in the case was the same man that 4chan had alleged was shooter.
It doesn’t take much to put this together. What is the likelihood the police were posting on 4chan and saw the suspect and the chan’s “evidence” against him, and then they leak that to the press? Or, rather how likely is it that a clever reporter needing a “scoop” saw an opportunity on pol and invented a source? Is it significant that the Original Poster of the thread that names the alleged suspect begins with a photo of a man and the poster goading others to prove that he is the killer?
Of course, none of this is proven, any more than oregonlive.com has proven they have a source close to the case who is getting their tips from 4chan. Or, of course, any more than 4chan/pol can prove they even have the right guy this time. Though they did outsmart Shia Lebouf that time, so you never know…
- 4chan-pol-083020-Sun-2029 https://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/275134049
- 4chan-pol-08312020-Mon-1017 https://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/275240918
- 4chan-pol-08302020-Sun-1401.JPG (earliest) https://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/275081414