Is Twitchy Fabricating A Story Here?

Twitchy, the right wing site created by Michelle Malkin to "debunk" tweets, has an interesting story up accusing MSNBC of using spambot accounts on Twitter to promote their shows. You can view the post here.

Now Twitchy is saying they have investigated these accounts and this is their finding:

Twitchy looked at about a dozen of these accounts and noted some common characteristics. First, most (not all) have small numbers of tweets and small numbers of followers, suggesting that they probably are not bona fide Twitter users.

Second, most (not all) of the profiles link to a service called Followers Delivery. The service claims to sell 100,000 Twitter followers for $320. It also sells Facebook likes and YouTube views.

So who is Followers Delivery? Well, if you go to their webpage, you are taken to a HostGator suspended account page. So that avenue of investigation is dead. Now let's go to another one. I asked "who is" Followers Delivery, so I will do a whois on followersdelivery.com:

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: FOLLOWERSDELIVERY.COM
Created on: 26-Feb-13
Expires on: 26-Feb-14
Last Updated on: 04-Mar-13

Registrant:
FOLLOWERS DELIVERY
P.P. 226, HR
Zagreb, - 10002
Croatia/Hrvatska

So this domain was just created last Tuesday and already got business from MSNBC? Damn, they are quick! Must have been someone in the MSNBC Croatia bureau.

But there are other interesting things in this post. Let's look at the first few tweets they highlight.

That user has 7 tweets, 0 followers and following 0 people. The first tweet was on 3/2.

This account has 10 tweets ,following 278 people and has 5 followers. The first tweet was on 3/1.

Again, 6 tweets, 0 followers, 0 following and created on 3/2.

And finally:

9 tweets, 315 following and 3 followers. This account was also created on 3/1.

So the first few tweets the article mentions were all created since last Friday and appear in Twitchy's article that came out yesterday.

I know this may be getting confusing, so let me put together a quick timeline:

  • Tuesday (2/26/13) - followersdelivery.com is registered.
  • Friday (3/1/13) - Saturday (3/2/13) - Tweets are published by new accounts pushing MSNBC shows. These accounts link to followersdelivery.com.
  • Sunday (3/3/13) - Twitchy embeds these tweets and accuses MSNBC of spamming Twitter.

Something in this timing seems very curious, almost like those accounts and that domain could have all been created just to go after MSNBC.

So, here's what I'm wondering. Twitchy is owned by right-wing darling Michelle Malkin. As we all know, Malkin is also a contributor to Fox News. Also, Fox News has seen a huge loss in ratings to (you guessed it) MSNBC over the past couple of months.

I think of that and I can't help but wonder if Malkin went out and had her people create some fake twitter accounts, use them to spam for MSNBC shows and create a fake company just so she could help out one of her employers?

The evidence is there to suggest that, as much as there is evidence to say that MSNBC paid a spam service to promote their shows. Maybe someone should ask Fox about their possible involvement in this as well.