Report: Bot Twitter Accounts Surface Defending WFT's Culture Under Daniel Snyder

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder, walking off the field before the start of an NFL football game against Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/Associated Press

The Washington Football Team is the subject of an independent investigation into the team's workplace culture after 15 female ex-team employees said they were sexually harassed while they were with the organization. That is in addition to other reports of team employee misconduct against two female reporters and former team cheerleaders.

Amid news that the Beth Wilkinson-led investigation is nearing its completion, Barstool Sports' PFT Commenter uncovered what appears to be a series of Twitter bot accounts that are praising owner Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team. Some retweeted examples can be found below:

Rosa Widdowson @RosaWiddowson

Okay @WashingtonNFL, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Diversity...I see you @NFL

Marsha Pick @PickMarsha

Okay @WashingtonNFL, "Be the change you want to see in the world". Diversity...I see you @NFL

Whittmore Gungor @GungorWhittmore

I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face @WashingtonNFL is doing what needs to be done in the @NFL

Roos Toshiko @RoosToshiko

I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face @WashingtonNFL is doing what needs to be done in the @NFL

Adriene Locket @AdrieneLocket

@Real_DanSnyder acknowledged @WashingtonNFL culture, vowed to make changes and put people like @RiverboatRonHC @whoisJwright @JulieDonaldson_ in place to see it through. Thank you @NFL

Most of the Twitter accounts appear to follow the same pattern: They were created in mid-to-late October, and the oldest post on the account is an image of the apparent Twitter user.

However, that image is different from the original profile image, and the remainder of the Twitter feed mainly includes positive support for WFT or pro-WFT retweets.

"Dan Snyder unequivocally denies ever using bots or fake accounts to put out favorable news stories," Jordan Siev, an attorney for Snyder, said in a statement to Bleacher Report. "In fact, over the past year, thousands of bots have popped up in a coordinated campaign to spread misinformation about Dan and the Washington Football Team, all of which have been reported as such to various social media sites."

Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch relayed the Barstool report while also noticing a pro-WFT Facebook advertising blitz that promotes an NYCTalk.com article discussing Snyder's charity work appears to have taken place.

Per Phillips, "the website is not updated regularly, does not have any contact information, and its domain is registered privately." 

Phillips also reported that Snyder has filed multiple lawsuits attempting to discover which ex-employees made claims against the team, and that he has hired numerous private investigators who have visited women who have made claims against the team.

Last July, Will Hobson and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post reported that 15 women said they were sexually harassed by team employees. 

Snyder soon hired Wilkinson, a founding partner at Wilkinson Walsh LLP, to lead an independent investigation. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at his pre-Super Bowl press conference in early February that the investigation was close to completion.