Justin Trudeau Targeted On Twitter (Yet Again)

Geoff Golberg
Sep 6 · 6 min read

How inauthentic accounts are gaming Twitter to trend #TrudeauCorruption

Network graph representation of 2,892 Twitter accounts that tweeted, retweeted, or were mentioned in tweets which include #TrudeauCorruption (source data: 5,372 tweets from August 29th to September 5th, 2019)

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has frequently been the target of coordinated inauthentic behavior across Twitter’s platform. Back in July, for example, National Observer’s Caroline Orr delved into #TrudeauMustGo — highlighting that “much of the activity surrounding the hashtag was actually driven by accounts tweeting at non-human rates, including about two dozen accounts created in the past 48 hours.”

#TrudeauCorruption

Earlier today I received an email from a reporter with CTV News in Ottawa. They were inquiring about whether or not #TrudeauCorruption was trending organically:

After collecting some data on the hashtag, I figured it’d be easiest to write a post on what I am seeing.

Below is a network graph representation of 2,892 Twitter accounts that tweeted, retweeted, or were mentioned in tweets which include #TrudeauCorruption (source data: 5,372 tweets from August 29th to September 5th, 2019):

Each dot (node) represents a Twitter account. Lines connecting accounts (edges) represent relationships between accounts (for example, if account A adds account B to a tweet where Account A has also added #TrudeauCorruption, then Account A and Account B will appear connected via an edge in the graph)

Verified Twitter accounts are represented by green nodes, whereas Twitter accounts that are not verified are represented by blue nodes.


Moving forward, we’ll limit the dataset to Twitter accounts where the degree is greater than or equal to 10 (doing so will focus the data review to follow on accounts which appear most within the dataset) — resulting in 303 accounts.


Accounts Appearing With Most Frequency

Let’s start with “Auntie Trudeau” (@AuntieTrudeau) — who, according to their Twitter bio, believes Canada needs to “elect @CPC_HQ [Conservative Party”] to stop [their] decent (sic) into a socialist abyss”:

Since being created in December 2018, @AuntieTrudeau has, on average, tweeted 87 times per day (while liking, on average, 82 tweets per day).

Out of the account’s most recent 3.2K tweets, 2,080 (66%) were retweets.

The account has tweeted #TrudeauCorruption 118 times over the past two weeks (inclusive of retweets; 111 of the 118 tweets also include #TrudeauMustGo). Between July 25th and September 5th (42 days), @AuntieTrudeau tweeted #TrudeauMustGo 839 times (on average, 20 times per day):

Even in the absence of said hashtags, Canada’s Prime Minister remains a target:

Next, we’ll take a closer look at “Just an average Joe from Canada…” (@Working_Cdn2019):

Since being created in January 2013, @Working_Cdn2019 has, on average, tweeted 74 times per day (while liking, on average, 29 tweets per day). Over the last 9 days, however, the account has, on average, tweeted more than 350 times each day.

Out of the account’s most recent 3.2K tweets, 2,970 (93%) were retweets.

The account has tweeted #TrudeauCorruption 129 times over the past 9 days (inclusive of retweets; 87 of the 129 tweets also include #TrudeauMustGo). Additionally, between August 27th and September 5th (9 days), @Working_Cdn2019 tweeted #TrudeauMustGo 1,560 times (on average, more than 170 times per day!):

Here are the 50 most amplified (retweeted) accounts by “Just an average Joe from Canada…” over the past 9 days (along with number of times each account was retweeted):

Accounts include: @Working6661, @EllDevon, @duoble007, @jmyersgerrits, @john_jakester, @BudWitzke, @Johnny_Armani_2, @SwoopRosenheim1, @anna_938, @Evenings_Star (vast majority of accounts in the table should have been suspended long ago for violating Twitter Rules)

Erik Luczak (@ErikLuczak), according to their Twitter bio, is a “retired engineer and college instructor” based in Manitoba, Canada:

Since being created in December 2018, @ErikLuczak has, on average, tweeted 338 times per day (while liking, on average, 295 tweets per day).

Out of the account’s most recent 3.2K tweets, 2,787 (87%) were retweets.

The account has tweeted #TrudeauCorruption 69 times over the past 6 days (inclusive of retweets; 32 of the 69 tweets also include #TrudeauMustGo). Additionally, between August 30th and September 5th (6 days), @ErikLuczak tweeted #TrudeauMustGo 854 times (on average, more than 140 times per day!):

Here are the 50 most amplified (retweeted) accounts by @ErikLuczak over the past 6 days (along with number of times each account was retweeted):

Accounts include: @showdemandvalu1, @happyfinko, @Patrickbirrell4, @dkreative1, @9291Motomom, @HaveWeAllGoneM1, @Paola_Dec1231, @bgirl0001, @Herb71295950, @Canada64617821 (vast majority of accounts in the table should have been suspended long ago for violating Twitter Rules)

It doesn’t appear “JLG1519” (@jng1519) is fond of photos, opting for an account using default profile and background images:

Since being created in June 2019, @jng1519 has, on average, tweeted 20 times per day (while liking, on average, 15 tweets per day).

Out of the account’s 1.4K tweets, 1,228 (87%) were replies:

“JLG1519” doesn’t retweet often, but when it does, it prefers retweeting Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11):

Accounts that have been retweeted by @jng1519 multiple times

The account has tweeted #TrudeauCorruption 10 times over the past 5 days (inclusive of retweets; 7 of the 10 tweets also include #TrudeauMustGo). Between August 21st to September 5th (15 days), @jng1519 tweeted #TrudeauMustGo 32 times (on average, twice per day):

Accounts Averaging 100+ Tweets Per Day

11% (33) of the 303 accounts have, on average, tweeted 100 or more times per day since being created.

Below are 15 examples (including “MrsMunch289 The Year for Scheer..2019”, “Mr. Herb Big Boob”, and “MooseMan”):

Accounts include: @SusanIverach (373 tweets per day), @DonDegenhardt (368), @GayleneSass (297), @Druid999S (235), @MooseMan1956 (210), @mitchiepoo46 (206), @PaulSR36855907 (175), @munch289 (187), @Charlie55017434 (131), @SGirardau (147), @NewImproved9 (102), @Evenings_Star (105), @jewelofthenine (108), @Herb71295950 (128), @Gordie_Orwell (108)

Accounts Averaging 100+ Likes Per Day

13% (39) of the 303 accounts have, on average, liked 100 or more tweets per day since being created.

Below are 15 examples (including “have a cup of stfu”, “TrudeauForTheLoss #TrudeauMustGo”, and “Lisa the Nationalist for Canada”):

Accounts include: @Leftisttears3 (248 likes per day), @GahaganGlen (241), @gojosoldier (206), @bstonhop (181), @HaveWeAllGoneM1 (167), @tails_dee (155), @Blueyes9445 (121), @Bird5Ca (142), @lilporkchp (118), @michael_house9 (135), @monica_barona (105), @JLCWood2017 (105), @RickRed10 (107), @Sherloc10168034 (103), @LisaMar91564392 (105)

One of the accounts above is very familiar to me — namely, “Lisa the Nationalist for Canada” (@LisaMar91564392).

Twitter permanently suspended my account more than 1.5 months ago, alleging that I was abusive towards “Lisa the Nationalist for Canada” (for highlighting how the account continues to weaponize Twitter’s platform).

Accounts Which Have Been Suspended

There are 5 accounts appearing in the dataset (2,892) that have been suspended by Twitter (@TrudeauMustGo, @DurBabushka, @Skippy23222719, @TreatIsland, @smfehir):

Conclusion

One of the more prominent verified accounts to use the #TrudeauCorruption hashtag was Canadian Senator Denise Batters:

Based on the data I have reviewed (some of which has been shared in this post!), scanning the accounts that have amplified (retweeted) Senator Batters’ tweet is indicative of the overall quality of accounts pushing the #TrudeauCorruption hashtag to trend:

Namely, I can confidently state that inauthentic accounts are gaming Twitter to trend #TrudeauCorruption.


Geoff Golberg is an NYC-based researcher (and entrepreneur) who is fascinated by graph visualization/network analysis — more specifically, when applied to social networks and blockchain activity. His experience spans structured finance, ad tech, and digital marketing/customer acquisition, both at startups and public companies.

Geoff is the Founder/CEO/Janitor of Social Forensics, where he spends (far too much of) his time developing techniques and building tools to identify social media manipulation (of various flavors!).

Read about Geoff’s war with Twitter here!

Geoff Golberg

Written by

Founder, Social Forensics | Previously: Co-Founder, Elementus | Featured in BBC, CNN, BuzzFeed, and Quartz, among others | SocialForensics.com

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