The Twitter account comfortablysmug started posting tweets at a rapid pace as Hurricane Sandy approached the East Coast. With over 6,500 followers, the account spread false information about the storm’s devastation. Some tweets made inflammatory claims, while others lacked context. While most of these tweets were in jest, they served the purpose of spreading confusion. For example, one tweet claimed that Governor Cuomo was trapped in Manhattan by the storm.
A recent BuzzFeed investigation uncovered that the account is run by Shashank Tripathi, a Republican political consultant and hedge fund analyst from NYC. Tripathi maintains an account under the handle @comfortablysmug, and has posted a number of unedited photos. BuzzFeed’s investigation also turned up an account on Tumblr run by Tripathi.
Despite the lack of a physical address, ComfortablySmug Twitter feed contains messages containing inflammatory images, insulting statements, and hate speech. Many of the posts are aimed at a broad range of people. Some cite white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, and other controversial figures.
Following the controversy surrounding the twitter account, Tripathi apologized for his irresponsible tweets. After the scandal broke, he resigned from the Wight campaign. He did not respond to BuzzFeed’s request for comment. Tripathi then went into a self-imposed Twitter hiatus, but later returned to the social network. In addition to politicians, his Twitter feed includes criticisms of the Obama administration, usually followed by the hashtag #Obama.
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