Saturday, September 1, 2012

Was MPR’s Tom Scheck’s Twitter Account Hacked? Unlikely.

Following on the heels of Keith Ellison’s latest Twitter mishap, MPR’s political reporter Tom Scheck got in on the action with a Twitter controversy of his own.

At about 7:47 PM last night, the following message was sent from Scheck’s Twitter account:

.Clint Eastwood’s degrading remarks of a sitting president. A total embarassment

John Gilmore beat me to the RT punch:

A few minutes later (by 7:50 PM) the tweet was deleted.

At 7:56, Scheck himself jumps into the conversation, and starts with the “That wasn’t me” explanation.  He was golfing, you see, and claimed ignorance of Eastwood’s performance.

The back and forth went on for a while between Gilmore, Sheila Kihne, and Scheck.  I’ve got the conversation archived here, at Storify.

The bottom line is that Scheck claims that he was “hacked” and didn’t send the offending tweet.

There’s been a lot of legitimate Twitter “hacking” going around lately. (Actually, most are the result of careless users putting their user name and password somewhere where it shouldn’t be, but the end result is the same- a compromised account.)  Most “hacks” end up with the compromised account sending out spam messages like “Hey what are you doing in this picture” or “I saw you check out my profile”. Stuff like that.

“Hackers” don’t typically tweet something controversial about topical news of the day, and then delete it a few minutes later.  That’s usually a real person who has access to multiple Twitter accounts and hits the wrong button.  Case in point - that’s the “official explanation” of the Keith Ellison incident from a few days ago.

Or, it’s a real person who does something stupid and then hides behind a “hack” excuse.  Let’s remember that Anthony Weiner went with the “hack” story until the alternative media, led by the late Andrew Breitbart, proved otherwise.

MPR’s response to Sheila Kihne today seems to indicate that MPR has “social media editors” who “work with” Tom.

My theory: one of these social media editors is the real culprit, and responsible for the tweet.

Whether or not we’ll ever find out, I’m not sure.  Rachel Stassen-Berger from the Star Tribune got to the bottom of the Ellison incident.

However, it will be curious to see how the Legacy Media handles the Scheck affair, seeing as he is one of their own.

Do I believe Tom Scheck that he didn’t send the tweet in question?  He says he didn’t and I don’t have any real reason not to believe him.

Do I believe that Scheck was “hacked”? Nope.  That leaves an unnamed person with access to Tom’s account as the only viable option.

I’m willing to take Tom’s word on this.

But do I believe I’m giving Tom Scheck more leeway than he would give to me if the shoe were on the other foot?

You better believe it.