When is a retweet not a retweet?
When the original tweet never existed – and if that sounds like common sense, it seems that no-one explained that to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which yesterday created fake retweets from President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine and other prominent democrats to link to a non-existent website outlining the Democratic Party’s plan for the nation.
Over the course of an hour, the official NRSC Twitter account sent out six fake retweeted messages from Obama, Reid, Kaine, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill and the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee linking to new Republican joke website Democrat’s Plan for America, which is nothing more than a blank page (because the Democratic Party has no plan for America, in case the “joke” was too subtle for you).
The fake messages played to Republican cliches about each Democrat, with Obama’s reading “My budget failed 0-97 but wait till you see @SenateDems budget – BO.”
“What the hell is wrong with you? How do you not realize it’s unethical to make up fake tweets from people?”
It’s also against “the Twitter Rules,” as laid out as part of the site’s Terms of Service, which clearly state that users “may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others.”
A day after the fake retweets have been sent out, they’re still available to view, and neither Twitter nor the NRSC have publicly commented on the subject. I wonder which will come first: The apology, or the deletion of the NRSC Twitter account?