Massey campaign: Automated program caused Twitter interactions - WSMV News 4

Massey campaign: Automated program caused Twitter interactions

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A campaign spokesman said an automated program is responsible for what showed up in a candidate’s Twitter feed earlier this week.

Nathan Massey is running to represent District 50 for the state House of Representatives.

Earlier this week, Massey’s campaign Twitter account showed he had “liked” several explicit Tweets that included images of naked women and sexually-suggestive language.

After a reporter called Massey on Tuesday to discuss the Tweets, she was soon after blocked from the account.

On the phone, Massey originally said he could talk about the story on Wednesday. But on Tuesday, a campaign spokesman said they would be too busy campaigning to do an interview.

"If there’s an innocent explanation, the candidate has got to get out there and explain his side of the story,” said Kent Syler, a political science professor at Middle Tennessee State University and a political analyst for Channel 4.

But what happened may be an unintended consequence of campaigning in the social media age.

Campaign spokesman Chase Geiser said the campaign used a program called “Archie,” which enhances social media exposure for users.

Geiser said the program “liked” tweets coming from Nashville, Madison and other areas in District 50.

In fact, the explicit tweets in question did share something in common: the hashtag “Madison.”

Other tweets Massey liked during the same time frame bear the hashtag “Nashville.”

As for the racier tweets, Geiser sent this statement: “Obviously, and unfortunately, the program picked up unintended content. That content has been removed.”

Syler said it’s a lesson every campaign should learn.

"From city council to the presidency, social media is very important,” Syler said. “But when you open that up, you’ve got to be very vigilant.”

Geiser said the program also targeted other locations in District 50, such as Goodlettsville and Bellevue. He said the Massey campaign is no longer using the program.

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