Roberta Paulson rumour debunked: Woman shot at US Capitol was named Ashli Babbitt

Max Seeley January 7, 2021
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Fight Club-inspired and 4chan-created rumour has been circulating on Twitter today: that the protester who was shot during the breech at the US Capitol building was named Roberta Paulson.

That rumour has since been thoroughly debunked and the real name of the protester revealed to be Ashli Babbitt. Babbitt succumbed to her injuries in hospital earlier today, 7 January.

On the evening of Wednesday 6 January, a number of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol building, just as Congress was set to confirm that President-elect, Joe Biden, had indeed won the election.

One of the protesters, Ashli Babbitt, was shot during the siege and later died from her injuries. Sky News has confirmed that Babbitt was an Air Force veteran and during her 14 years of service, had four tours of duty.

Roberta Paulson rumour explained

Following the news that a woman had been shot during the siege on the Capitol, at least two posts on the political discussion board on 4Chan referred to the woman as Roberta Paulson. The rumour then quickly spread to Twitter, where it was picked up by many users.

The meme that circulated on Twitter is a reference to the David Fincher movie, Fight Club.

In the movie, the character Robert Paulson is shot and killed which leads his fellow “Project Mayhem” supporters to chant “his name was Robert Paulson” as a rallying cry for their cause.

Twitter quickly seized on the meme, with some using using it as a political statement. One user wrote “her name was Roberta Paulson. SAY. HER.NAME.”

Meanwhile, others were quick to point out that the meme was just a Fight Club reference, with one user writing “FIGHT CLUB WAS A SATIRE. Her name is Ashli Babbitt.”