Is this viral Twitter account a bot account?

By July 12, 2023 Technology

We came across the following post on Twitter:

According to the post, foreign actors have been conducting hostile information campaigns to sow division in the United States by not just pretending to be Trump supporters but left-leaning Democrats as well.

The tweet cites the account of Erica Marsh or ericareport as an example of an account that is not a real person. The account claims to be the account run by someone with that name who identifies themself as a “Proud Democrat: Former Field Organizer to elect President Biden. Volunteer for the Obama Foundation”. For context, ericareport is a largely followed Twitter account known for hyper-liberal tweets that are inflammatory, divisive, or misleading. Her most viral tweet, describing how black people would not be able to succeed in a merit-based system, hence the need for affirmative-action based programs had almost 28 million views before it was taken down.


When we looked into the account, we found that Twitter had recently suspended the account amid claims that it was fake, however an archive of the account is still available. We also found an article by the Washington Post detailing how the account might be fake due to her lack of a real-world footprint and her devotion to her “cartoonishly liberal” attention-grabbing viewpoints. Additionally, the photos shared on her Twitter page were flagged as possibly AI manipulated by a digital-imaging expert, who noted that the images bear the hallmarks of digital manipulation.

With the evidence available, it is very likely that the account of Erica Marsh is fake, and the person described as Erica does not exist. The account was most likely run as a disinformation campaign using exaggerated political stances to stir up controversy, a tactic known as “rage-baiting.”  This disinformation tactic had formerly been deployed by trolls linked to the Russian government to create divide and stir up racial tensions during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Leave a Reply