On Tuesday, Rep. Steve Stockman (Texas, Rep.) accused President Barack Obama of using fake Twitter followers to pressure congress into passing new gun control legislation. Stockman announced that he will be releasing evidence that the Obama administration used fictitious messages to pressure lawmakers regarding Fourth Amendment-related bills.
On Feb. 26, the Texas congressman tweeted:
Hey, @BarackObama, why are forced to rely on fake spambots? Your #WeDemandAVote campaign has been exposed as a fraud.
What Stockman's office finds suspicious is that the social media accounts are sending coordinated political messages and do not appear to be drafted by separate individuals. In particular, two suspicious Twitter profiles are followed by former Obama digital strategist Brad Schenck.
Schenck found and followed the spambots before they were active on Twitter, which suggests that the ex-Obama staffer played a role in creating the profiles.
Hours earlier, Stockman posted:
Of 6 real folks who tweeted support of Obama's anti-gun plan 1 lives in district, 1 out. Other 4 list no location. However we thank them all
We got only 16 messages supporting Obama's gun control campaign. 10 appear to be spambots. Releasing screencaps soon
'Egg' on his face?: Two-thirds of Obama's gun control supporters appear to be spambots
In a recent interview, the GOP lawmaker told The Hill:
Obama's anti-gun campaign is a fraud . . . Obama's supporters are panicking and willing to do anything to create the appearance of popular support, even if it means trying to defraud Congress. I call upon the president to denounce this phony spam campaign.
Rep. Steve Stockman added that the White House's anti-gun activists "are trying to defraud Congress using the same scam that sells 'male enhancement pills.'"
Earlier this month, Republican Examiner wrote an article that as many as 18 million Twitter followers (out of 27 million) of Obama may be falsified/fake accounts. After using an online software, a New York Times analysis in 2012 discovered that up to 70 percent of the president's Twitter fans are spam accounts. Additionally, the White House uses several social media accounts, not just Obama's, which could exacerbate the problem of sham messages.
Apparently, the falsified pro-Obama accounts are sending promotional messages that align with the White House's political agenda. The lawmaker's staff found that such accounts never engage in real human interaction, and mostly follow liberal news outlets such as MSNBC.
(In a controversial move, last week the NBC affiliate network hired former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod and ex-spokesman Robert Gibbs to join as "analysts". In their first appearance, both Axelrod and Gibbs immediately blamed the GOP for the looming sequestration cuts to the federal government, though it was their their former boss, Obama, who proposed sequestration to congress back in 2010 and who ultimately signed it into law.)
Last month, Rep. Stockman threatened to file articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives against Barack Obama after the president proposed legislation to limit Americans' access to firearms.
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