Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama, gained then lost thousands of apparently fake Twitter followers in the space of a few hours — a situation that his campaign blamed on Democrats.
“We highly doubt that reporters across the country spend most of their free time on Sunday breaking away from church, family, and football to review the Twitter followers of various candidates across the country,” Moore’s campaign said in an emailed statement. “It is more likely that Doug Jones and Democrat operatives are pulling a political stunt on Twitter and alerting their friends in the media.”
The saga did begin on Sunday, when multiple Twitter users noticed that Moore’s account had nearly doubled its follower count, from slightly more than 26,000 to more than 47,000, in less than a week. At least 1,100 of the new followers had Russian names and Twitter bios, often consisting of pure gibberish such as “Master of Plastic Shackles” and “to be a little girl.”