Is this something Honest Abe would do? The Lincoln Project, a prominent political action committee led by several anti-Trump Republicans, has been blatantly copying the tweets of other users on Twitter.
NBC’s Brandy Zadrozny shared a roundup of examples this weekend of the group either copying other people’s tweets word-for-word, using content without consent, or making minor edits and passing them off as original posts.
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) August 16, 2020
One example, initially shared by The Recount’s Steve Morris, shows a viral tweet that included the caption “f— it. USPS fancam.” The tweet also included a 21-second video, set to “WAP” by Cardi B, paying homage to postal workers. A day later, on Aug. 15, The Lincoln Project’s account posted the same video — this time set to a remix of “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes — and with a slightly different caption: “screw it. USPS fancam.” Cursing is apparently a bigger issue than stealing to the organization.
— Steve Morris (@stevemorris__) August 15, 2020
The Lincoln Project did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on its social media practices and whether they’d continue.
More users came forward with examples of social media foul play after Zadrozny’s tweet went viral. One example came from late July, where The Lincoln Project responded to a tweet from President Trump on COVID-19 testing with the caption: “Why do we have more deaths?” The same caption had been used by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski when he quote-tweeted the president about 40 minutes prior.
Here’s another! What a weird thing to do, especially taking content from people who have their own large followings. https://t.co/rOaO319gK5
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) August 16, 2020
The Lincoln Project was founded late last year by several current and former Republicans, including Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, two staples of cable TV news. George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, is also a founder.
“The founders of the Lincoln project have spent over 200 years electing Republicans. But now, they’ve sparked a nationwide movement with a singular mission: To defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism,” the group says on its website.
Since launching last December, The Lincoln Project’s Twitter account has racked up nearly 2 million followers. The group has thrown its support behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden heading into November’s election.
Lindsey Ellefson contributed to this report.