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With the help of Twitter and Reddit users, the Internet knows that one of a handful of people who lost his life to a fire at the White House is James T. Hodgkinson. But that information is all false.
That’s the takeaway from several Twitter accounts that share the same name.
An archived page created by Twitter users on Thursday shows that the same account on the social-media site had tweeted an erroneous statement about the death of Hodgkinson, an Army veteran and supporter of President Donald Trump.
The tweets claim that “Rep. Steve Scalise was at the baseball field where it all began,” despite a report from WTTG in which he was at a White House picnic when the shooting happened. Another tweet claimed “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was shot and killed yesterday at the Republican Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia,” while a third said, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former political commentator and a political activist, was shot and killed yesterday at the Republican Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, VA.” None of the three tweets are true.
Here’s our complete list of the 3 fake Tweets that are linked to a #PrayforAlexandria account #PrayforAlexandria — The Last Line of Defense (@AllLinesInSight) June 14, 2017
On Friday morning, an Internet user named Aaron Tannenbaum posted on Twitter that he was trying to help find the account. When asked for a reason for the mistake, Tannenbaum wrote on Twitter, “This one may have been the most ironic tweet of all time.” The account, he added, had been “purchasing and retweeting fake news for years. I just didn’t expect them to try it all the way across the world and be so hilariously wrong.”
Tannenbaum told TPM he was trying to follow a link to a Facebook page that also uses the same name, but when he saw the first post about Hodgkinson, he knew it wasn’t going to end well.
“I thought it was very funny and in order to see what the rest of the account was like I decided to retweet the first tweet as the truth, since the other one was pretty much all just bullshit,” Tannenbaum said.
Tannenbaum is careful to
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