TN GOP: Twitter warned of fake account linked to Russia multiple times before suspension
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A fake Twitter account reportedly linked to Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 Presidential election was brought to the social media platform’s attention multiple times before action was finally taken, the Tennessee Republican Party told WTVF.
According to the CBS affiliate, the group sent three emails to Twitter after someone created the account @TEN_GOP. The party’s real account is @TNGOP.
“It wasn’t at all affiliated with this office so I have no idea of what or who ran that account,” Candace Dawkins told the outlet. She also provided the emails which were dated September 2016, March 2017 and August 2017.
Twitter suspended that account, which dubbed itself as the “unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans”, after receiving the third email, Dawkins said.
Unfortunately, it appears that by that point it was already too late. The account had amassed more than 130,000 followers and was retweeted by influencers like President Donald Trump’s former advisor General Mike Flynn, commentator Ann Coulter, Nicki Minaj, James Woods, Chris Hayes and Roger Stone.
There is no indication any of them knew it was a fake account, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In addition, the account frequently tweeted anti-Muslim and anti-immigration messages while mocking Hillary Clinton and other Republican lawmakers.
Party leaders said the tweets didn’t align with the messages they were posting.
“That account pushed some of the most hateful rhetoric last cycle. Glad its misdeeds are finally being reported on,” tweeted Brent Leatherwood, the former executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party.
“It certainly pushed ideas that weren’t Tennessean. In fact, they were anti-American sentiments,” he added later.