Update: The president of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, admitted that the "Pete Buttigieg" account is fake. However, she said the DNC is too busy focusing on the "fake accounts" on its platform to know whether those of us who don't have followers on Twitter are actually other people.
“I have been using Twitter for years and have never seen, unless you are talking about breaking news, that people gather their own information via social media and often times, that they do use fake accounts," she told reporters in a conference call. "We cannot assume that that is true for everyone, but again, we have found no evidence that our Twitter accounts are a part of that.”
She added that the Trump campaign "scrutinized" what role social media played in the 2016 election and was "not sure" if the DNC is also keeping an eye on its use of the platform.
At the end of 2018, Pete Buttigieg, the 33-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Buttigieg's viral announcement about his "If you wanna live," viral Instagram video did get more than 2 million views, but it was reportedly an elaborate social media hoax that was meant to promote Buttigieg's campaign.
According to a report in Politico, a Twitter account impersonating Buttigieg was created in September last year, and he himself admits the "timing is a little unfortunate." The fake Pete Buttigieg account received more than 400,000 followers as of today and was frequently retweeted from others.
But there's a subtle difference between what Buttigieg has been saying and what this account has been saying. More than anything, it's just the sense of humor he's putting out.
In an email to Politico, Buttigieg writes, "The timing is a little unfortunate. I’ve just been making jokes on social media and making all the right moves. I had hoped to make a more formal announcement before the year’s end, but the calendar wasn’t going to let me just do that."
What do you think is the real reason the fake Pete Buttigieg Twitter account caught so much attention? Did he have something up his sleeve all along? Share your thoughts in the comments below!