Someone on Reddit hinted at the Paradise Papers 16 days before they were released

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On Sunday, Nov. 5, journalists at nearly 100 media organizations began publishing stories on a massive document leak revealing financial information about the offshore accounts of the ultra wealthy. At 1.4 terabytes, the trove dubbed the Paradise Papers is second in scale to last year’s Panama Papers (2.6 TB) and includes details on elites from the queen of England to aides of Donald Trump.

But 16 days before the first stories published, there was a prescient post on Reddit with the title “Do not give up. More is coming.”

Obvious throwaway.

I cannot give much information, but I would encourage you all to keep your eyes open. These are more, bigger leaks coming that relate to the extremely wealthy and members at the highest levels of government in developed countries around the world, including the United States.

Paradise.

The author had created the username PanPthrowaway specifically for the purpose of posting on the Panama Papers subreddit on Oct. 20. Over the next day or so, PanPthrowaway would drop some more hints in the comments:

I should add one more detail – the next leaks will involve senior members of the Trump administration, although I do not know when they will actually be published.

I will give you a hint so you know I’m authentic. In around two weeks you will see some damaging reports come out regarding Wilbur Ross (not related to Paradise). Take a screenshot of this post and come back when I’m right.

Figure of speech. I suppose I just wanted to make a post to let everyone know that this isn’t over. Something else is coming, and in my opinion it is bigger than the original Panama leaks.

Also, I am not a part of the investigation, personally. But I can assure you that something is coming, and I offer upcoming damaging evidence against Wilbur Ross as proof I have my sources. Again, check in in about two weeks.

I personally am not involved in investigation. I cannot provide any timelines or expectations of when anything is to be released, unfortunately. But good journalism takes time. There are literally hundreds of people working on Paradise and they do not want to screw it up.

I encourage you to check back in in about 2 or two and a half weeks.

Indeed, two and a half weeks later, after the Paradise Papers were revealed, PanPthrowaway followed up with another post titled “Do I have your attention now?” Though the author had said earlier he or she was not part of the investigation analyzing the data dump, PanPthrowaway claimed in more recent posts to be a journalist.

Many on Reddit were impressed PanPthrowaway followed through, but some felt the ploy to gain internet notoriety came at the cost of potentially jeopardizing the investigation. As one user (blablablablabla78) put it:

what’s more important:

To maintain the secrecy that supports the co-ordinated release of a year long investigative journalistic effort or someones need for internet fame, willingly taking the risk to compromise the whole project to the public?