1. This is Jason Whitlock.
He writes for Fox Sports. He’s very popular and “controversial.”
2. For the uninitiated, this is his bio at Fox Sports.
Like I said, controversial.
3. On Sunday, Whitlock’s Twitter account began heavily pushing another account called “@RetweetVibe.”
@RetweetVibe is an account that uses the form “Retweet if…” in attempt to gain a larger audience. This is a method that has been used quite effectively by other accounts such as @RetweetDares to gain massive followings (@RetweetDares has over 160,000 followers).
4. Over the course of the last two days, Whitlock’s account has retweeted every single @RetweetVibe tweet, but all but the two most recent have since been deleted.
However, if you look at Twitter celebrity archive site Tweetwood you can see that Whitlock’s account has retweeted the 13 tweets of @RetweetVibe 65 times, which is made possible by the fact that the tweets are frequently deleted and then retweeted.
5. In fact, yesterday it seemed like Whitlock was actually behind @RetweetVibe (as opposed to just supporting it).
One of the RetweetVibe tweets was sent directly from @WhitlockJason. This type of mistake often happens when someone is managing multiple accounts.
It was deleted immediately, and then tweeted from @RetweetVibe, and retweeted from @WhitlockJason.
7. @RetweetVibe isn’t just annoying, it’s a spam account. Of its 13 tweets, 6 are spam links to random articles from a website called LOLZ PARADE (Note: the “O” in “LOLZ” is a smiley face).
8. By looking at the link you can figure out what service @RetweetVibe is using to serve sponsored tweets.
9. clnk.me takes you to MyLikes, which is a service that allows you to get paid on a per click basis for hosting sponsored tweets.
This raises the question: Why would one of the most successful sports writers in the country be trying to push a spam Twitter account?
10. BuzzFeed asked Jason Whitlock for comment on the situation. Here’s what he had to say:
My account has been hacked. Write about how inefficient twitter is in addressing these issues. You can’t get twitter to answer a phone call. I’m not sure twitter has a phone number. I’ve been emailing for 3 days. And FOX Sports has reached out. This is beyond frustrating.
11. Some of @WhitlockJason’s most recent activity includes seemingly legitimate Whitlock tweets, but that could be the work of a hacker attempting to cover his or her tracks.
BuzzFeed reached out to Whitlock to ask about the seemingly legitimate tweets, and to see if he had any access to his account to send them.
No access. I think they did that in reaction to Twitter investigating or in response to people alerting others to my account being hacked.. I’ve had no access for three days. Twitter is horribly inefficient. What business doesn’t have an automated phone system to handle fraud?
Can someone from Twitter please get on the phone with this man before (insert The Wire reference here)?