Seeking to redress an unfortunate act of vigilantism by encouraging yet more unfortunate acts of vigilantism, an angry post recently began making its way around the Internet that features the supposed home address of Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman—an address that officially went viral and started to show up everywhere after it was retweeted by Spike Lee to his nearly 250,000 followers. Adding an extra dimension of “unfortunate” to the many already-existing layers, the address he put out into the ether was incorrect: The home in question belongs to an elderly couple named David and Elaine McClain, who are now said to be “living in fear” thanks to Lee after his retweet spawned thousands of reposts and replies expressing sentiments like “Let’s turn up the heat on his bitch ass!!!” despite George Zimmerman’s bitch ass currently residing elsewhere.
Of course, Lee is not totally to blame for his biggest misdirection since Girl 6: The original tweet has been traced to an L.A. man named Marcus Higgins, who confused George Zimmerman with the McClains’ much older, long-since-moved son William George Zimmerman, then reportedly sent it to celebrities like 50 Cent, Will Smith, and LeBron James in addition to Lee. But of those, Lee was the only one with such a huge following to retweet it, setting off a chain of reposts full of increasing rancor that have led to the McClains being harassed. The couple says it is considering sending a (redundant, given that the damage is done) cease-and-desist letter to Lee, though they have not as yet threatened further legal action. Meanwhile, Lee has continued to tweet nearly non-stop about the Martin case, but he’s officially offered “no comment” on the backlash regarding his helping to sic the Internet on the McClains (though he did dare someone threatening to tweet Lee’s own home address to “tweet it, Big Guy”). Basically the only one happy in this story is Ashton Kutcher.