After a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead and 23 injured on February 14th, false information spread around the internet, including claims that survivors of the shooting are paid crisis actors. And recently, Representative Maxine Waters was the subject of another hoax when an offensive tweet about gun control was posted from an account in her name.
On February 15th, the unverified account @MaxinePWaters posted the insensitive tweet, which claimed that since Waters has armed security guards, others don’t need to own guns. The account in question describes itself as a “Fully Compliant Parody Account” and routinely posts tweets mocking Waters and her political stance.
Two verified Twitter accounts are connected to Waters. The representative’s official handle is @RepMaxineWaters, while the Campaign Committee to reelect her uses the handle @MaxineWaters on the social media site. The California congresswoman did issue an official statement in the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting, which was much more empathetic.
Waters rose to internet fame in July 2017 when she refused to let Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin waste her time while she questioned him about the international financial system. And her refrain of “reclaiming my time” resonated with all women who have ever dealt with mansplaining.
Waters is a politician whom we respect and admire. While the fake Twitter account is at least upfront about being a parody, this tweet just shows that you shouldn’t trust everything online, especially in the era of fake news. Stay vigilant, everyone.