Is @Dinner_Guest a sick joke or a real murderer on Twitter?

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[UK] Today in London a couple of hundred delegates turned up to Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conference to jaw-jaw over the nature and impact of business and society of, well, Twitter. But as various startups and social media pundits took to the stage to debate the mostly positive impact Twitter will have, a much darker side has appeared on the social site in the last few days.

@Dinner_Guest is tweeting some extremely dark stuff. Most if it is decidedly not suitable for work, and read like passages from the novel about a killer, American Psycho. Of course, this is no surprise – Twitter is big enough now to attract all sorts of crazy people.

And normally you could dismiss such stuff as a prank from some teenager with an over-active imagination. It could also be some ridiculous viral marketing campaign for some slasher movie about to come out. But what is disturbing is the whiff of authenticity about the tweets.

They start innocently enough: “i am new here i hope i fit in, not sure how much to say about who i am” (9:53 PM Nov 10th from web)

But gradually it becomes apparent that Dinner Guest is tweeting about the real (or imagined) event of kidnapping a man, imprisoning him, injured and bleeding, in a lock-up and then disposing of the body – all in gruesome detail.

What is at least as disturbing is that this macabre Tweeter mentions real places, such as Brighton Beach.

Now, clearly this could all be part of some sick fantasy. The trouble is, should we take that chance, or do the Police in Brighton need to know that they have a potential serial killer on their hands who has taken to Twittering his killing spree?

It’s clearly not possible to know either way, until real-world events start to match up with Dinner Guest’s Tweets.

Personally I really do hope it’s a sick joke. The alternative is disturbing to contemplate.
Whatever happens it’s probably fair to predict that once the mainstream media finds out about this – as they will – there will be yet more calls for “Policing Twitter”, and other social platforms more widely. As usual, the question I always ask is – so, you’d rather lock this stuff down to the point where it goes underground or just never appears? As hard as it is to read this kind of content, I know which I prefer.

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  • James

    How did you find this Mike? @Dinner_Guest has 25 tweets and only 4 followers… do you just troll Twitter all day looking for gore references?

    The tech world must be real slow at the moment…

    • Mike Butcher

      I was tipped-off by a source I trust implicitly.

  • JRH

    Sounds like a work of fiction to me – first off, whoever it is has figured out the etiquette remarkably quickly (RTing and so forth) – their background and profile pic are purposefully grotesque without being gruesome – and they’re alluding to some macabre but well-known Brighton stuff; the murder victim stored in a lockup and Duke’s Mound (on the beach, a popular hangout for male prostitues).

    There are quite a few writers in this town, and at least one famous thriller writer who sets all his stuff here. There are also a *lot* of people on Twitter.

    Murderer or book/film/show promo? My money’s on the latter.

  • BC18

    I find it amusing that a person named Mike Butcher would post this in the first place.
    Makes one wonder. ;)

    • Ricardo

      Ahah, nice one!

      Kidding aside, some things maybe should be policed (not censured) in case some extreme stuff appears, right? Bare in mind most of these platforms are open to lots of age groups.

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  • Kerry Gaffney

    I agree with JRG, it’s either a publicity stunt for book/tv/play/youtube series or a wannabe writer trying out a new format and channel.

    Plus, surely any seriel killer worth his salt knows that blocking the drains with his victim’s remnents was just how Dennis Nilsen got caught.

  • Ray

    It’s clearly a stunt and Mike’s in on it. Notice his mention of the main stream media finding out. *hint hint*

    Hrmm, let’s see… what to do… call the police, or hrmm… I know! I could blog about it instead!! Brilliant!

    • Mike Butcher

      FYI I’m not “in on it”, I thought it was interesting, and blogging is what I do. I figure if the authorities are interested then they’ll find out via things like, oh, people reading this and contacting them or maybe reading this, in the same way they read newspapers. I guess.

      • dub

        Looks like you’ve pushed his followers to 180 or so. :)
        I think it’s a macabre joke. Wondering how many followers he can get. Or how much publicity. But I’d be surprised if the cops don’t check him out.

    • Scott Gould Fan

      Hello Scott

  • Scott Gould

    Clearly a fake.

    1. IP Address – hello???

    2. Uses Web, then does Twittelator. Clearly follows ppl. Then asks “How do I follow?” after people had said that he seemed a bit too proficient in Twitter – of course the fact that he already followed people shows this is a setup.

    3. He thanks @f0rged for saying how to follow people using the web method, even tho he is using Twitterlator.

    4. Uses American Psycho allusions, including the name dinner_guest

    5. Speaks using classic ego talk, as if he is Patrick Bateman or Hannibal Lecter or something, unlike actual Serial Killers.

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  • Phil

    This was a really interesting read, and a great use of twitter.

    However, in typical human fashion we’ve gone and messed it up with a multitude of stupid comments, and now dinner_guest is simply reacting to them rather than providing us the great fictional insight into the psyche of a killer that he was previously.

  • dub

    “This was a really interesting read, and a great use of twitter.”

    Which was? The blog post or dinner_guest?

    “However, in typical human fashion we’ve gone and messed it up”

    Which? The blog post or dinner_guest?

    “with a multitude of stupid comments”

    Thanks. I can’t even follow yours.

    “and now dinner_guest is simply reacting to them”

    Well naturally.

    rather than “providing us the great fictional insight into the psyche of a killer that he was previously.”

    And you would know this because?

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  • Andy

    The account has the bio: “A fictional character born out of an artists mind. A meme experiment & analysis”

    Case closed!

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  • James

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

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