My view is that the attackers saw this as an opportunity for “lulz”, and a way to misdirect everyone.
They will misdirect you for what the vulgar call "a lark," meaning, in this connection, a jest at your expense.
This simile, however, being external, is apt to misdirect the mind.
The heavy hit may come off occasionally, the clumsy guard may turn the point, but why misdirect energy?
The main secret lies in the combination of the looks and gestures of the performer to misdirect the audience.
Stall-off, to put off by means of a device, to misdirect purposely.
Let me know before you go out of town that I may not misdirect a Letter to you.
He was going to say "blest;" but he had not been blessed, and he was too technically honest to misdirect in his brief.