Twitter

Twitter kills fake accounts linked to pro-Trump bot that Trump retweeted

There’s an army of fake Twitter accounts that spread pro-Trump propaganda, and the social media platform is taking steps to remove them.

This Sunday, President Trump expressed gratitude to a Twitter user using the handle @Protrump45, who at first glance looked like just another cultishly enthusiastic Trump supporter. But as Heavy reports, the account stole the identity of a woman in order to open the account which used the name “Nicole Mincey.”

“Before Trump retweeted the Twitter account, the ‘Nicole Mincey’ name had been used in online columns and radio appearances to tout a website called ProTrump45 that sells pro-Trump merchandise online – Trump shirts, hats, and the like,” Heavy reported.

The account also linked to the website protrump45.com which is a content mill for pro-Trump articles and merchandise. The author names of the articles on the website are also fake Twitter accounts, which, along with @Protrump45, have all been suspended.

The image of the black woman on the Nicole Mincey account is actually a model from the T-shirt mock-up company Placeit.

From Talking Points Memo:

Much of ProTrump45’s initial legitimacy reads like a tutorial in digital smoke and mirrors.

On March 20, YouTube user Pro Trump45 posted the video “GOP Shirts Available,”which shows an unnamed model wearing a “GOP” t-shirt — a “Placeit” watermark covers the video. A link to ProTrump45’s store appears in the video’s description.

On May 14, the popular conservative website World Net Daily published “Black, Liberal Woman Dumps Obama To Run Trump Store,” which featured an interview with someone claiming to be Mincey.

“I saw a financial opportunity and took it. That’s the perks of capitalism,” she told the website, explaining why she turned her popular Twitter account into an online store.

The interview quickly spread across the web. A portrait of “Nicole,” with a red “Make America Great Again” cap covering most of her face, even ended up on the “HottiesForTrump” subreddit (NSFW).

A Twitter audit revealed that only 55 percent of Trump’s followers in Twitter are real people, meaning that 15 million of his followers are fake, according to Vogue. This August 5, Twitter user and TV producer Rob Schooley gave a run-down on the fake accounts pushing pro-Trump messages:

Featured image via YouTube

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