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AOC Decries Extremely Creepy Copycat Twitter Account

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks from a podium.

There are a lot of unpleasant things that can happen to a person on Twitter. But a bunch of people believing you are a drunk-tweeting congresswoman who wants to get kissy with Elon Musk? That’s a special kind of bad day.

Someone made a parody Twitter account copycatting New York Democratic House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and though the account has been around for a while, it didn’t get traction until recently. As you’ll recall, Twitter’s blue check system used to mean an account had been verified to be the real deal—the check meant that a government official or public figure was that person’s actual account for certain. Now, anyone can buy a blue check, and that’s what this parody account did. 

The fake account, @AOCPress, tweeted on Sunday, “This might be the wine talking, but I’ve got a crush on @elonmusk.” Musk himself tweeted back with a fire emoji, and that was enough to make the fake account and its fake tweet go viral. Even though the account’s name includes the word “parody” at the end, the name “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody)” is so long that it almost always gets cut off in the app, plus Musk’s engagement with the fake tweet lent the account legitimacy, even though he no doubt knew it wasn’t her because government officials now have grey verification checks.

In addition to the viral Elon Musk tweet, the fake account has been posting all kinds of “policy” statements that definitely do not jive with the AOC we know, like “To make windmills more effective – when the wind doesn’t blow, we should have helicopters hover over each of them and keep them turning year round.”

By Tuesday morning, AOC decried the fake account, saying: “FYI there’s a fake account on here impersonating me and going viral. The Twitter CEO has engaged it, boosting visibility. It is releasing false policy statements and gaining spread. I am assessing with my team how to move forward. In the meantime, be careful of what you see.”

Shortly after AOC’s tweet, Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s cyberlaw clinic, did a little digging into the fake account and noted that because of similarities in posting comments about not wanting “to date” AOC, the fake account could be run by Chaya Raychik, the ultra-conservative online troll who runs @LibsofTikTok and is known for being an obsessive troller of AOC

More research from Caraballo reveals that the account has been impersonating AOC for four years and was called @MelonNews before that, and also posted anti-AOC content. The account hadn’t actually tweeted since 2019, but according to Caraballo, the fact that they were able to get a blue check seems to have emboldened the copycat to start tweeting again.

Just another example of why the new Twitter sucks. Thanks, @elonmusk, we don’t have a crush on you!

(featured image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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