New York County Executive gets caught following porn star on Twitter, claims he was hacked

Politicians and porn are not a good mix, and Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive (NY) just found himself in hot water when word broke that he was using his Twitter account to follow porn star Belle Knox.

Bellone’s response?  I’ve been hacked!  Said spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter:

County Executive Bellone’s Twitter account, which is operated by his staff, has been hacked and an obscene Twitter account was subsequently followed.  A formal complaint has been filed with Twitter and to the third-party software used to assist in managing the account. His staff has instituted stricter security protocols to ensure an incident like this does not happen in the future.

It’s worth noting that Bellone’s staff said that the account is operated by staff, not the County Executive himself.

As for the claim itself: oh no, it’s the magic hacking fairy!  You know, the one who hacks into an account to do no damage other than to have the hacked account follow a porn star, something that no one would notice unless they really looked.

This is an absurd explanation.  Is it technically possible?  Yes, of course.  Politicians accounts are perpetual targets for hackings – @BarackObama was even hacked once.  However, the Obama example provides a perfect explanation about why this case probably wasn’t a hacking: When the President’s Twitter account was hacked, it directed people to pro-Assad Syria videos.  That’s because when someone hacks into an account, they will do something obvious to make a statement and have the hack noticed.  They will not subtly have the hacked account follow a random porn star.

What is far more likely is that someone who Bellone follows retweeted a tweet from Knox, and Bellone, while clicking through his timeline, accidentally clicked the follow button.  This is a very easy mistake to make and happens all the time.

Of course, it’s also possible that Bellone just followed the porn star and didn’t think anyone would notice.

By the way, Bellone is not the first New York politician to claim that he was hacked. When Congressman Anthony Weiner first sent out the tweet of his boxer-covered genitalia – the one that would eventually end his career – he also claimed he was hacked:

WeinerHackedTweet

He went so far as to spend $45,000 to investigate the “hacking” – when, in reality, he had sent the tweet.

Remember how well that went for him?

Is it possible that Bellone’s Twitter account was hacked? Sure.  But it’s highly unlikely that someone would hack into an account for the sole purpose of following a single porn star.

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