Things That Matter

Twitter Has Busted a Ring of Fake Accounts That Posed As Black Trump Supporters

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

On Monday, Twitter announced that it has suspended 15 Twitter accounts of “Black Trump supporters” that they discovered were fake. The accounts were similar in nature, tweeting out nearly identical messages, like “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN”. The accounts quickly amassed thousands of followers and retweets.

The fake “Black Trump Supporter” accounts were discovered by social media disinformation researcher Darren Linvill, who flagged the accounts and reported them to Twitter.

The accounts violate Twitter’s rule barring users from using the platform “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”

The Twitter accounts sourced their profile photos through internet image searches. One profile photo even included the search term “black man photo” at the top of the profile photo–proving that someone stole the photo from the internet and (sloppily) cropped it. Others were revealed, via reverse-image searching, to be generic stock photos of Black people.

The accounts seemed to follow a pattern: the Black Trump supporters were devout Christians, veterans, blue-collar workers, police officers…you get the picture. 

“They are impersonating Black Trump supporters, Black authoritative figures such as veterans and police officers, and various prominent individuals in order to gain rapid traction and virality,” said cybersecurity manager Lee Foster to The Washington Post.

Linvill says that the accounts don’t necessarily appear to be a coordinated campaign, although he did find traces of the Russian alphabet  in the accounts’ online records. Linvill hypothesizes that the accounts might have had monetary motives–they often tweeted out links to buy Trump merchandise. 

Another theory is that, based on the timing, whoever created the fake accounts is trying to change what appears to be the persistent narrative that President Trump is racist. The accounts became much more active in recent months, around the time when Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups on national TV. These “Black Trump supporters” make it seem like he actually has the support of Black Americans. 

But polls and surveys prove that Trump is highly unpopular among Black Americans. The Pew Research Center shows that 81% of Black voters support Biden in the upcoming election. 

These most recent fake Twitter accounts are one of the many ways that the Republican Party has been attempting to manipulate voters this election cycle. Along with spreading disinformation, the party has set up unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes across California. The Governor of Texas, Rick Abbott (R) also made headlines recently for restricting the amount of official ballot boxes in Texas to only one per county–a move that critics slammed as a transparent attempt to suppress the Latino vote.

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Mariah Carey Got Her First Dose Of The Vaccine And Made It Into An Iconic Moment

Entertainment

Mariah Carey Got Her First Dose Of The Vaccine And Made It Into An Iconic Moment

@MariahCarey / Twitter

Vaccines are rolling out across the country. People are getting their shots so life can finally start getting back to normal after a year of quarantining and social distancing. Mariah Carey let her fans join on her first shot and it became iconic.

Mariah Carey got her first shot of the vaccine and hit that whistle note.

More and more Americans are finally getting vaccinated to get the world back to normal. More than 160 million vaccines have been given in the U.S. and people are starting to see the results. Life is slowly getting back to normal for families who haven’t seen each other in years.

The singer was “excited and nervous a little bit” about getting the vaccine. Her demeanor showed just how impactful it is for people to do their part to get us back to normal.

True to form, Carey was in her camera-ready pose when she was getting ready.

People receiving the vaccine are told to keep their arm relaxed but Carey clearly isn’t made for that. How do you just turn off your star charisma?

It’s important to keep your arm relaxed while you are getting your vaccination to save you from the pain. If your arm is tense or in an awkward position, it is more likely to move during the jab, which can be painful. Listen to your nurses.

Some people are very curious how someone so young got the vaccine.

President Joe Biden announced that all states must make vaccine eligibility open to all adults by April 19. Some states are allowing people as young as 16 to get vaccinated. This is an accelerated deadline from the previously called for May 1. President Biden has worked hard to push the vaccination rate up and he has delivered on his promises for various vaccination deadlines.

People want to know if the vocal skills are a side effect of the vaccine.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories circulating about the vaccine. Some people believe that Bill Gates is microchipping them using the vaccine. It is a conspiracy that persists despite people definitively debunking the theory.

Congratulations, Mariah!

The world is eager to get back to normal and the vaccination rollout across the world is going to get us there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is slowly releasing new guidelines about what fully vaccinated people are able to do.

For example, it is safe for fully vaccinated people to gather in small groups indoors without masks and social distancing. Fully vaccinated people can also fly on airplanes without much risk because of the effectiveness of the vaccine.

READ: This Is How Cuba Is Developing Its Own COVID Vaccine When It Can Barely Get Daily Necessities To The Island

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A Twitter User Found Shrimp Tails And Baked Rat Caca In His Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Things That Matter

A Twitter User Found Shrimp Tails And Baked Rat Caca In His Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Yeah… this is one cereal box prize we’ll pass on.

Once upon a time, it was considered to be a real treat if you found something that wasn’t food in your breakfast cereal box. From sticker tattoos and puzzles to action figures, as kids, a cereal box presented quite a bit in the way of motivation when waking up early on school mornings.

Recently, however, a man came across a surprise in a General Mills Cinnamon Toast Box that’ll be sure to make you think the next time you reach for those Wheeties.

Writer and comedian Jensen Karp says he found shrimp tails, string, and what appears to be mouse poop in his Cinnamon Toast cereal box.

In a tweet he posted on Monday, which has since gone viral and retweeted more than 11,500 times, the comedian shared the strange discoveries. “Ummmm @CTCSquares – why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit),” he asked in a tweet on Monday.

It didn’t take long for the Cinnamon Toast cereal account to reply that the shrimp-looking things were, not shrimp tails but rather chunks of cinnamon and sugar.  “After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren’t thoroughly blended,” the account replied. “We assure you that there’s no possibility of cross-contamination with shrimp.”

In response, Karp tweeted “Ok, we’ll after further investigation with my eyes, these are cinnamon coated SHRIMP TAILS, you weirdos,” he wrote. “I wasn’t all that mad until you now tried to gaslight me?”

It didn’t take long for Twitter to express how unimpressed they were by the brand’s explanation with a barrage of memes and replies.

Twitter users also expressed concern for those with shellfish allergies.

Karp went onto share more photos of his cursed cereal, this image showing what appears to be baked-on rat poo. Another tweet showed a string found in the same box. One user replied to the images sharing that it was possible that a mice or rat burrowed into the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal ingredients and brought in a few of their own belongings.

In a final follow-up photo of the other bag included in the family-sized box of cereal, Karp revealed what “appears to include … dental floss.”

Though the saga continues, Karp revealed that the company asked him to send them the product so that they could get down to the root of the problem.

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