The PJ Tatler

Weinergate: Or, don't believe in twitter coincidences

If you’re going to have a scandal, a holiday weekend is an excellent time for it. Hardly anyone is paying attention to anything political. So the timing of Weinergate works very much in Rep. Anthony Weiner’s favor. But so far the facts are not working in the New York Democrat’s favor, at all.

At issue is how his twitter feed ended up sending a sexually suggestive photo to a college student in Seattle. He claims that both his twitter freed and yfrog accounts here simultaneously hacked. That’s always possible; hacks do happen. But the problem, as Datechguy notes, is that Weiner was following the college student on twitter before the incident occurred, and she was just one of 91 people he was following. How did this college student get followed in a NY congressman’s twitter feed? We don’t know yet.

Rep. Weiner married Huma Abedin, former aide to Hillary Clinton, in July of 2010. The college student, whom Weiner followed in twitter, had on April 9, 2011 tweeted “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepAnthonyWeiner is up to right now.” She had been on twitter for a long time, and had been on facebook since 2007. In the wake of Weinergate, both accounts have been taken offline.

It’s possible that both of Weiner’s relevant accounts were hacked, possible but unlikely. All of this seems very coincidental: A college student who happened to be one of the 91 people Weiner followed tweets about him being her “boyfriend,” and a few weeks later what looks like a private tweet to her is public. It takes some work to hack an online account, let alone two. It takes very little work to get a letter wrong: @ makes a tweet public, d makes a tweet private. Occam’s Razor suggests that the coincidences aren’t just that. But we’ll see.