OMAHA, Neb. - Rainforest Action Network's Brant Olson, who has been investigating the use of fake Twitter accounts to tweet propaganda in favor of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, has discovered that a Republican operative working on behalf of the Nebraska Energy Forum, a pro-tar sands front group, has created multiple Twitter profiles in order to create the illusion of grassroots support for the toxic pipeline.”
According to RAN, the office of a former Nebraska senator working for the American Petroleum Institute (API) appears to have set up more than a dozen fake Twitter accounts to promote the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's tar sands.
Followers of the #tarsands hashtag on Twitter may have noticed a strange spike in posts in August. Within three minutes, 15 accounts all posted the message "#tarsands the truth is out!" linking to API's web page about oil sands. Then came another post from the same accounts, this time linking to the Nebraska Energy Forum, one of 26 state-based-front-groups sponsored by API in the leadup to the 2012 election. Then came a flurry of posts from those same accounts, all linking to a post on "publicaffairsinformant.com" touting KeystoneXL and linking back to the Nebraska Energy Forum.