Twitter Joke Shows How Conspiracy Theories Spread Online

October 17th 2016

Almie Rose

A twitter user named raandy sent conspiracy-minded bloggers into a frenzy on Monday when he jokingly tweeted about gleefully engaging in voter suppression.

raandy, who describes himself as "the cool and chill guy of online" tweeted the following:

A quick scan of raandy's Twitter feed (and location, which is listed as California) reveals a few things. 1) He is not a postal worker from Ohio. 2) He doesn't take Twitter very seriously.

In short, his tweets are clearly jokes.

But after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began publicly declaring that the election is "rigged," many of his supporters are seemingly desperate for examples of voter fraud to be true.

This could explain why raandy's tweets were picked up as news by media outlets like Drudge Report.

A Gateway Pundit article on the "voter fraud," which was shared by Drudge, reads:

"An Ohio(?) man who describes himself as a postal worker bragged online this weekend about destroying Donald Trump absentee ballots. He actually bragged about it!"

Trump supporter Scott Baio also took raandy's tweets seriously.

The website Young Conservatives also reported the tweets as news.

The tweet found its way to the USPS, which responded on its website.

USPS responds to fake tweet about voter fraud

"The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believe these tweets were made by a postal employee," they state.

raandy's followers were beside themselves.

Ohio Secretary of State, Jon Husted, is calling Trump's "rigged election" theories "irresponsible."

"I can reassure Donald Trump I am in charge of elections in Ohio and they're not going to be rigged, I'll make sure of that," the Republican told CNN. He continued:

"[...] Our institutions like our election system is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it, or the legitimacy of it. It works very well in places ike Ohio. We make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We have a bipartisan system of elections. Frankly, it's the only place you can find Democrats and Republicans working cooperatively together. They work that way in our election system to make sure the integrity of our election system is upheld and people feel good about the process of voting."

Husted also told The New York Times that Trump was "wrong and engaging in irresponsible rhetoric."