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Were Fake Accounts Used To Trap Anthony Weiner?

Yes, another Anthony Weiner post. Except this one confirms what I suspected: that the conservatives who "caught" him tweeting that picture were trying to set him up. New York Times: A Twitter user employing a fake name posed as a

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Yes, another Anthony Weiner post. Except this one confirms what I suspected: that the conservatives who "caught" him tweeting that picture were trying to set him up.

New York Times:

A Twitter user employing a fake name posed as a 16-year-old California high school girl in May and tried to get Mr. Weiner to be her prom date, according to people with knowledge of the communications and a review of documents. The person behind another Twitter account created under a fake name claimed to be her classmate and offered to provide the group with incriminating evidence about Mr. Weiner.

Mr. Weiner, who resigned on Thursday after admitting he had sent explicit photos and messages to multiple women on social media sites, had already been the subject of intense focus on Twitter by the conservative group, which calls itself the #bornfreecrew.

One Twitter user the group observed seeking to interact with Mr. Weiner was called “Nikki Reid.” She started an online campaign to get Mr. Weiner to be her prom date at Hollywood High School in May, using the account @starchild111. Within days after Mr. Weiner started following her, a Twitter user, also using a fake name, Marianela Alicea, and pretending to be Nikki Reid’s classmate, contacted a member of the #bornfreecrew and said she had information about Mr. Weiner, but never provided any.

I'm not excusing the fact that he did, in fact, send lewd photos and create a stupid distraction for the better part of three weeks. But this story highlights the fact that someone smelled blood and tried to take it to the next level by creating fake underage accounts to lure him into sending photos or flirting. It appears that he did not take the bait, but the fact that there was bait should make everyone sit up and take notice.

As long as identities are nothing more than the next invented email account, everyone is vulnerable. In Anthony Weiner's case, he should have realized that he made himself a target just by standing up like he did, and been leery of any overly friendly people online. Instead he let himself be flattered by it.

Let's hope a lesson is taken from this. These people are unafraid to stoop to the lowest level possible to neutralize politicians and public figures who they consider a threat or an obstacle. The only defense is a good offense, which would include keeping communications public and being careful that they can withstand scrutiny.

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