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NBC News tries to rescue AOC from parody account by blaming Elon Musk — then buries the truth

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NBC News published a story on Wednesday blaming Elon Musk for the amplification of a parody account on Twitter that mocks Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As TheBlaze reported, the New York Democrat is upset that a verified parody account — @AOCPress — is (potentially) misleading her supporters with viral tweets mocking her.

"FYI there’s a fake account on here impersonating me and going viral. The Twitter CEO has engaged it, boosting visibility. It is releasing false policy statements and gaining spread," Ocasio-Cortez complained on Tuesday. "I am assessing with my team how to move forward."

NBC News regurgitated Ocasio-Cortez's narrative about the parody account by claiming it "has skyrocketed in followers and engagement over the last two days, with some help from Elon Musk."

Not only does the story claim that interaction from Musk increased the parody account's visibility, but the outlet reported, "The account is fooling some of the people who read its tweets — bringing to life some of the fears about Musk’s paid verification system that stripped legacy verified users of their blue check marks."

But the truth — as the story itself explained — is the parody account actually received more attention after Ocasio-Cortez's tweet complaining about it than when Musk first interacted with it.

According to Social Blade, a social media analytics tracker, the Ocasio-Cortez parody account had 85,000 followers in May 2019, the month it was suspended for impersonating the congresswoman. After the account’s restoration in May 2023, it immediately lost over 16,000 followers. Then, the account shot back up to over 80,000 followers on May 29, after Musk replied to it. On May 30, the day Ocasio-Cortez responded to the account, it gained over 100,000 followers.

At the time of NBC News' publication, the account had 292,000 followers. Now, it has more than 375,000 — meaning Ocasio-Cortez herself helped the account more than double its followers.

Certainly, NBC News is helping to bring even more attention to the account by sharing it to its audience of tens of millions of people.

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