TN Republican leader responds to fake Twitter account - WSMV News 4

TN Republican leader responds to fake Twitter account

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The Twitter account has since been suspended. (WSMV) The Twitter account has since been suspended. (WSMV)

A Twitter account claiming to be the unofficial voice of the Tennessee Republican Party was actually run by Russian online trolls.

Tennessee Republican leaders say the now suspended account had absolutely no ties to the state.

“It wasn’t representative of the message and mission of the Tennessee Republican Party, so it’s frustrating,” said Michael Sullivan, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party. “Then you see how many people are following it, how many retweets some of the posts are getting.”

One of those followers was President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

The Daily Beast reports Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway also retweeted the account on several occasions.

Dr. Andy Borchers of Lipscomb University School of Business is an expert on the rise of social media. He believes people were tricked.

“I think it’s a challenge for social media providers, Twitter, Facebook of the world, to recognize when they carry information, they can’t just say ‘not my problem, anybody can say anything,’” Borchers said. “They have to understand they have some responsibility.”

“It’s a learning curve for everybody,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think anyone is exempt from having a perfect Twitter account or an imperfect Twitter account.

“I hope this is a lesson for a lot of folks that when we’re looking at Twitter accounts, news and the reports they’re putting out, are they verified?” Sullivan added.

Click here to read Twitter's response to deal with professional trolls and spammers on its service.

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