Rep. Steve Stockman (R – Texas) insists that the U.S. president’s operatives appear to be using fake Twitter accounts to send pro gun-control messages to members of Congress in support of gun control.
However, that wasn’t Stockman who first noticed that something is going in a wrong way.
Bloggers first spotted the trend and pointed out on some social media funny business as the senders had sent no other tweets, had no followers and followed nobody.
Blogger Stacy McCain conducted a small research and found out that the majority of the accounts supporting the President’s gun-control plan were created less than 48 hours before a member of Congress was contacted.
The tweets in question included the #WeDemandAVote hashtag – which President Obama asked gun-control supporters to include in their tweets to Congress.
As Inquisitr reports, Stockman is among 16 members of Congress who have received the Twitter messages.
On Monday, the congressman suggested “Obama’s anti-gun activists” were behind the allegedly computer-generated messages, which his office called a “scam” similar to those selling “male enhancement pills.”
The politician went on, adding that accounts are linked directly to a former Obama staffer and urged the president to stop the spamming.
“Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Stockman said in a statement. “The White House has some explaining to do. To what extent is the White House involved in this attempt to defraud Congress?”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Stockman said following Obama’s call for people to choose their congressman in support of gun control legislation via social media, he received just 16 tweets.
It was soon discovered that 10 of them were computer-generated, while six came from real people, though only one lives in Stockman’s southeast Texas district. Two had only one follower, former Obama digital strategist Brad Schenck.
“Schenck somehow found and followed them before they ever tweeted anything, followed anyone or followed any real people,” Stockman said.
Of the 16 members of Congress who have received the tweets, nine are Democrats and seven are Republicans.
“It looks like (the tweets) are all being run from some uniform website,” said @defendWallSt, among the first to discover the possible irregularities, in a tweet to reporters.
“My presumption is that the accounts were registered by some organizing group or someone” from Obama for America farmed out the work.
Leaving aside this particular news, there is a new industry on the internet in the buying and selling of fake Twitter followers as opposed to legitimate followers for pennies on the dollar to artificiality inflate increase popularity of an individual or business.
“The practice of buying Twitter followers (or Facebook fans, Instagram followers, etc.) is as old as social media itself, hinged on the archaic notion that quantity trumps all in the social interaction sphere,” explains TheNextWeb website.
“Some of the most well-known politicians and celebrities in our social strata are accused of puffing up their own numbers with these followers — often assessed as thoughtless and friendless robots keen on spamming Viagra ads — to make themselves seem more influential and dominant on the platform of choice.”