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It Is With a Heavy Heart That Twitter Is Finding Out Who @Dril Is

Even if you somehow aren’t familiar with @dril, if you’ve spent any amount of time reading words on the internet, you’ve read someone aping his style.

Dril has been around since the earliest days of Twitter, and his influence and audience have spread far beyond the limited confines of weird Twitter (or even Twitter itself). His tweets have been endlessly chewed on by other, lesser writers. Many Dril joke setups (e.g., “Buddy they won’t even let me …” or “twitter dot com i live for this”) are now just internet shorthand. One classic Dril tweet about candles and the economy was popular enough to fool tech writer Clive Thompson into thinking that people mimicking it were part of a bot network. Pairing a Dril tweet with something dumb Donald Trump tweets is a popular pastime. A Dril tweet about corncobs spurred a minor squabble between center and left-wing media types.

He had also remained anonymous, which made him somewhat of an anomaly on the internet of 2017, as weird Twitter slowly morphed into Socialist rose Twitter. This anonymity allowed for a certain elasticity in the jokes — and enabled the creation of conspiracy theories and lore. Some speculated that Dril was actually a collective, perhaps connected to the same group that was behind the horse_ebooks Twitter account. There was a theory that at some point the original anonymous author had passed the login to another newer (and, the theory went, less funny) writer. Dril was probably male, aggrieved, poor at spelling, and had a horrific ass, but not much else was known.

Until recently. Parts of Twitter are writhing today after the unveiling of the person behind the Dril account. Who would dox Dril, Twitter’s beloved mascot? As it turns out, the knowledge was already out there, albeit tucked deep in the folds of internet fandom. There’s a subreddit dedicated to Hiveswap, a cult video game based on “Homestuck,” itself a long-running webcomic with a small but extremely passionate audience. In September, someone first figured out and posted Dril’s identity thanks to a stray writing credit for the video game under Dril’s real name and some informed guesswork. But the information failed to escape the gravity well of that insular community. (Put more bluntly: “Homestuck” fans are too weird for anyone else to spend time on their subreddit learning about what they’ve been doing.)

But the knowledge bubbled up on Tumblr yesterday, where someone else connected all the dots even more explicitly. From there, it broke on Twitter itself. The funniest part of Dril’s unmasking was that it already happened months ago, and nobody really noticed.

Dril, in the end, turned out to be much like what you’d expect him to be: Someone who had spent a lot of time on Something Awful’s forums (specifically, the FYAD forum that spawned much of what was later grouped into “weird Twitter” and essentially set the voice for a generation of writers and creators), into animation, and funny.

Any of the links above will clue you in on who the actual the writer behind the Dril account is. The truth is that the writer never seemed to be that concerned about his anonymity: He has a successful Patreon account, kept a website for years where he sells merch, and is part of a Kickstarter that will almost assuredly get funded. He never seemed concerned with staying behind the grinning Jack Nicholson avi — except that it was perhaps funnier when Dril was anonymous.

Besides, he’d already revealed his identity years ago:

It Is With a Heavy Heart That Twitter Found Out Who @Dril Is