Rochester Mayor to activists: “Stay in your lane”

What is it with New York politicians saying that their accounts were hacked?

Just days after Steve Bellone, the County Executive of Suffolk, New York, said that someone hacked his Twitter account in order to follow a porn star, the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren, is saying the same thing happened to her.

The background: Warren’s official Facebook account received messages from Robert Wright DeSimone, an activist who was upset over Rochester’s removal of a homelessness encampment.  DeSimone sent the Mayor a series of Facebook messages, calling her office a “joke” and scolding her for the removal.  According to screenshots from DeSimone, Mayor Warren’s account responded as such:

LovelyWarren Facebook

When contacted by the media, DeSimone said that he was one of many activists who sent Mayor Warren similar messages and everyone received identical responses, except for the last line, which was unique to DeSimone.

Interestingly, this exchange resulted in the deactivation of Warren’s Facebook & Twitter accounts.  The Mayor’s spokesperson says that no one from their office was behind sending that last line of text: several people have access to the Facebook account and they were “working hard” to see who had sent the message.

This is an interesting one.  There are a few possibilities for what really happened:

  • Mayor Warren or another staffer actually got ticked and sent the last message. They know exactly who sent the message and are scrambling to cover it up.
  • Someone with access to the account sent the message, and they really have no idea who.

I’m actually inclined to think the later.  Why?  Because the accounts are gone. That only happens when you are scared that someone can speak on your behalf and you have no idea who will do so – and thus, no control over what gets said.  Yikes.

Some takeaways:

  • Limit who has access to your social media accounts. Whoever can speak on your behalf on social media essentially has access to your voice.  Your voice should be carefully guarded and protected, and the above story shows why.
  • Maybe a disgruntled staffer was involved here?  Change the password frequently, and make sure to change it when you switch staff.

Do you have any idea what happened here?  Any thoughts to offer as an explanation?  Let us know in the comments!

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