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Anonymous Twitter Account Surges in Followers After Devin Nunes Lawsuit

Molly Schuetz
Anonymous Twitter Account Surges in Followers After Devin Nunes Lawsuit 

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Congressman Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit seeking $250 million in damages from Twitter Inc. and users behind anonymous accounts for allegedly smearing his name. The move had an immediate effect: One of the accounts gained more than 60,000 followers.

The complaint claims a Republican political strategist named Liz Mair fueled a campaign targeting Nunes as well as two anonymous accounts, @DevinNunesMom, which has now been suspended, and @DevinCow.

Nunes also alleges Twitter “shadow banned” him in 2018 “in order to restrict his free speech.” People claiming to have been shadow banned say they can see their own tweets but that they aren’t visible to their followers. Twitter has denied using shadow-banning and said it doesn’t engage in bias or make policies around political ideologies.

Before the suit was filed the @DevinCow account had a little more than 1,000 followers. As of Tuesday morning, it had more than 70,000.

“I think @DevinCow should send @DevinNunes a nice fruit basket for the signal boost,” one person tweeted on the @DevinCow account. “Over 50,000 followers. Wow!”

(Updates with shadow banning context in third paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the affiliation of a political strategist in second paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Schuetz in New York at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Robin Ajello, Molly Schuetz

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