Under Daniel Snyder’s ownership, the Washington Redskins have frequently tried to control the message that gets out about the team. For instance, the Redskins typically announce news through their website, rather than to the press. (To be fair, the practice of bypassing the media middleman is increasing throughout sports; the Redskins were just one of the first professional sports franchises to take that step.)
Earlier this year, there were rumblings that Snyder and team president Bruce Allen had gotten a radio show on D.C.’s ESPN 980 featuring former Washington Post columnist Jason Reid canceled before its debut. Snyder’s company, Red Zebra Broadcasting, owns the station.
But the team is also trying to control the message and influence fans on Twitter, and this time, the Redskins’ tactics seem particularly devious. During Sunday’s 24-21 win over the Chicago Bears, the Post‘s Dan Steinberg noticed some similarities between the Redskins’ official Twitter feed and an account supposedly run by Redskins fans.
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) December 13, 2015
Oops! Someone was caught double-tweeting — or tweeting from the wrong account. (As you might expect, both of the tweets in question have since been deleted.) Those aren’t just similar tweets; they’re the exact same post, clearly copied-and-pasted from one account to the other.
The Redskins Facts Twitter account and website claims to be “a growing online community of passionate Washington Redskins fans and others who support the team’s use of its name and logo.” Yet the Washington Post showed that many of the supposed facts and history presented by the site were misleading. Now the Twitter gaffe discovered on Sunday exposed the presumsed fan site as being run by the team itself. It’s completely bogus and an underhanded way of trying to portray support for the team, along with its name and logo by posing as fans.
According to some, this was general knowledge among the team’s fanbase. But thanks to this stumble, everybody now knows what measures the Redskins are taking to influence and falsely portray what’s being said about the team online.