Rep. Hoyer gets pranked on Twitter
Imposter issues series of outrageous tweets during State of the Union speech
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jan 26, 2011
An imposter apparently hacked into the Twitter account for Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech and published a series of prank tweets before the account was shut down.
The problem was first reported by the Gawker blog, which noted that Hoyer’s website displayed a Web link to the @leaderHoyer Twitter account, which was publishing the questionable tweets. Hoyer’s staff removed the link from the website, and the Twitter account was closed after the problem was discovered.
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Meanwhile, these tweets went out under Hoyer’s account:
“This is what happens when political offices pay for high-priced, money-sucking ‘social media’ firms that have no clue what they are doing,” the imposter wrote on Jan. 25, according to a screen-capture from Gawker.
“This AZ thing is working out for us very well,” reads another tweet. "Look how Republicans fell for this bi-partisan seating crap.”
And another tweet: “He is going to veto bills with Earmarks? Load of Bull! He promised this a year or two ago. Whatever. At least the fool McCain is happy.”
Bloggers today are speculating that the problem lies either with a hacked Twitter account belonging to Hoyer, or with a hacked placement of a link on Hoyer’s website, which was linked to a false Twitter account. The problem may be associated with Hoyer’s recent change in status, from Majority Leader to Minority Whip. Hoyer recently set up a new account on Twitter.
Hoyer spokeswoman Katie Grant e-mailed a message to Politico: "Just goes to show that Steny Hoyer has made it big on Twitter. They say impersonation is the best form of flattery."
Many members of Congress are active on Twitter, as are legislators around the country. However, there has been some pushback: state lawmakers in Massachusetts were blocked from Twitter use in their offices this week due to alleged vulnerability of the micro-blogging website to hackers.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.