What is going on here? At this moment, your guess is as good as mine but I do have a guess which I’ll get to in a moment. First, here’s what we know. A few hours ago, someone tweeted from Maxine Waters account that her account had been hacked and erased.
I have been hacked and my Twitter account has been erased. I know who has done this. I will take care of this. M Waters.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) October 12, 2021
There’s no indication her account has been erased. Someone is still tweeting from it. Is that someone Maxine Waters?
Water’s office isn’t responding to requests for more information but Twitter told the Hill that they had “identified no signs of account compromise.” In other words, that tweet didn’t come from a clever hacker, it came from Maxine Waters just as it claims. Some people had a good time with her promise to take care of the situation.
the account is definitely not erased. But i’m here for the Maxine Waters twitter revenge tour https://t.co/Rx3n2HysVe
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 12, 2021
Taken 6 https://t.co/GnvaNqHbS6
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 12, 2021
Me, when I make a bad tweet: https://t.co/XaF0AyMPfu
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 12, 2021
That last tweet is one of the things that occurred to me. The last time a progressive claimed they were hacked was when Joy Reid was trying to explain away some of her old blog posts. And before that, who can forget Anthony Weiner’s claim he was hacked when he was caught tweeting to a young woman. It made me wonder what Waters had recently deleted from here account.
And here’s where things get interesting. The Wrap points out that ProPublica tracks deleted tweets, including Waters’.
ProPublica tracks elected officials’ deleted tweets, and a few of Waters’ retweets and quote tweets were deleted Monday evening, marking the first deletions from the account since Sept. 8.
The shared posts that were deleted were from the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, her colleague Rep. Chuy Garcia and an Alzheimer’s advocacy group that promoted her work with the organization. None of the deleted tweets appear to be out of line with what the California Democrat would normally share.
If you look at ProPublica’s page it lists six retweets that have been deleted in the past 24 hours. The tweets themselves don’t seem unusual (for Waters) however I did notice that the timing of the deletions is a bit odd. Many of these RTs were deleted seconds after they were sent. In fact if you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll notice Waters apparently RT’d one tweet from DSA Los Angeles, deleted it 4 seconds later, then RT’d the same tweet an hour later and deleted it again 12 seconds after that. That does seem a bit strange.
Maybe when she said her account had been “erased” she was referring to those deleted retweets? But if her account wasn’t actually hacked, doesn’t that mean she’s the one who deleted them?
Here all I have is a guess. Maybe there’s more than one person who has access to Waters’ account. Maybe she was RTing things and someone else was deleting those RT’s for some reason. Granted that doesn’t seem too likely but what’s the alternative? Twitter says it doesn’t appear she was hacked and, even if she was, why would she claim her account was erased when only a few of her RTs are missing? The only other alternative I can think of is that she deleted the RTs herself and somehow got confused and assumed someone else was doing it.
What would help at this point is for Waters’ office to issue a clear explanation of what she’s talking about. I’ll update this story when a more detailed explanation is offered.