Ford team uses fake Twitter account in campaign
Published Saturday, October 30, 2010 5:56PM EDT
Rob Ford's campaign team created a fake Twitter account and wrote more than 150 messages under the guise of being a George Smitherman supporter during the Toronto mayoral campaign.
The news came to light this week in and extensive profile by The Globe and Mail that a deputy communications director set up the fake account to flush out a potentially damaging audio tape.
Fraser Macdonald, 24, created a fake profile for a fictional woman named Karen Philby.
Through the account, the user appealed to a man who had an audio tape of Rob Ford seemingly promising to buy him OxyContin off the street, in order to do damage control.
But Philby's profile remained active, smearing mayoral candidates throughout the campaign, including Smitherman and Ford, all while posing as a Smitherman supporter.
According to her Twitter profile, which included a Smitherman banner, Philby was a "Downtown gal who likes politics, my cat Mittens, and a good book."
The @QueensQuayKaren account has since been removed from Twitter but the Torontoist blog has posted a history of messages it sent out.
"I can see Ford's appeal. I don't agree with him on everything, but the man speaks the truth," reads one message posted six days before the election. "George needs to improve on that."
Other posts call former candidate Sarah Thomson a "village idiot," suggests someone, presumably Rocco Rossi, "looks like Mr. Potato head with only eyes and a mouth," and refers to Smitherman as the "takes it up the middle candidate … in that he is centrist."
In a message from his personal Twitter account on Saturday, Macdonald refers to the account as "one of the many ways the Ford campaign outsmarted the competition."