The Senators have had an interesting couple of weeks off the ice — to say the least.
Nearly two weeks after several Senators players were caught on camera bad mouthing coaches and making fun of the team during an Uber ride, someone came to the defense of the Ottawa players by creating fake Twitter accounts.
According to an investigation by the Ottawa Citizen, at least 20 contrived Twitter accounts were found. They were “seemingly created to launch a coordinated disinformation campaign and to attack media coverage of the Sens while lauding the team and its owner Eugene Melnyk,” according to the report.
After questions of the authenticity of the Twitter accounts were raised, at least seven of those accounts went offline and the remaining accounts have stopped tweeting.
The Ottawa Citizen also found that none of the contrived accounts had tweeted prior to Nov. 6, which was a day after the Uber video was released on YouTube. Additionally, the accounts had only a few followers and had only tweeted about the Senators and how the media covers the team.
In response to media coverage of the video, the Senators refused to let Ottawa Citizen reporter onto the team’s charter flight to travel with them to an away game, per the report.
A fake account identified as “@WLorenbg” tweeted in response, trolling the reporter: “Boohoo…for some overweight sports reporters not flying first class with the team after they breach their privacy. Got to hell,” Lorenbg tweeted in reply to a Globe and Mail post about the story.
Another example from the same “@WLorenbg” account: “YouTube has higher journalistic standards that the Ottawa Citizen and Sun #voyeurs remove the video. do the right things @Ottawacitizen @ottawasuncom @melnykeugene.” The same tweet was then repeated in slightly different forms across four other accounts.
While the fake Twitter accounts didn’t necessarily solve the Senators’ problems with the media, it certainly added more to the conversation.