You've been 'swatted', gamer getting 25 years for terrorism is also hoax
A story that swept the internet claiming that a Louisiana teen was handed a jail sentence of 25 years to life for taking part in "swatting" is a hoax in itself. Although many have reported on it and tweeted about it as if it were real.
It claimed that 15-year-old Paul Horner was found guilty of two counts of domestic terrorism and was the first person in the US convicted of having "swatted" a rival gamer, but while the trend of swatting is believed to be real, the news story of his arrest is not.
Instead, it's the work of spoof site NationalReport.net. But it says something about the Chinese whispers nature of the internet that somewhere along the line, genuine news sources were reporting it as fact.
Swatting itself is reportedly a growing trend that is targeted at the live game streaming community, specifically those that show their faces and surroundings in the feed. A swatter discovers the victim's IP and residential address and then calls in a false murder or bomb threat to the police in the area.
Because of the severity of the threat, the police send a SWAT team to the location and the hoaxer and other viewers watch as the livestream shows the victim being arrested.
It came to prominence after Jordan Mathewson, also known as Kootra, was raided by armed police during his livestream of a game of Counter Strike. The incident has since been watched on YouTube over three million times.