Even in the age of verified blue checkmarks, people and media outlets regularly get fooled by fake Twitter accounts, and it looks like ESPN is the latest victim there. Following the Chicago Bulls’ trade of Mike Dunleavy Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers to clear room for Dwyane Wade, ESPNews aired a segment on the trade that included tweets from a fake Dunleavy account. Here’s video, via @HistoricalRyan:
— Ryan (@HistoricalRyan) July 7, 2016
They subsequently took plenty of flak for this from those who knew Dunleavy didn’t have a Twitter account:
For those re-Tweeting Mike Dunleavy from @MikeDunleavyJr, that's not his account. He's not on Twitter.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 7, 2016
— Tommy Hanrahan (@thanny10) July 7, 2016
What’s really odd here is that the @MikeDunleavyJr account cited doesn’t have a verified blue checkmark on Twitter, but it does on the screen. Does that mean ESPN added that in themselves to make it seem more credible? That’s the accusation they got from many:
By the way, ESPN used one of these tweets from that fake account, and ADDED A BLUE CHECKMARK THEMSELVES. https://t.co/2e4WKY47jy
— Matt Spiegel (@MattSpiegel670) July 7, 2016
— Dan Sanchez (@sanchezdel8) July 7, 2016
However this happened, ESPN definitely has some explaining to do.