In mid-May 2023, a Twitter account was created with the N-word in its handle, followed by "NV03," apparently in reference to the U.S. House of Representative's seat representing Nevada's 3rd district, which covers south Las Vegas. The person who created the account pretended that it belonged to a Black Republican campaigning for the seat with a racial slur as his last name ("Daniel N-word").
In one tweet, the account wrote, "Big news: President Trump has endorsed us!"
After about two days, this tweet had already been viewed more than 20,000 times.
All of this was fake — there was no such candidate with that name — and there was no indication that former U.S. President Donald Trump had anything to do with the Twitter account.
Furthermore, there was no active race for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District. Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat, was reelected to the position in November 2022.
That said, we were curious about the origins of the image used as the account's profile photograph. We found the picture on iStockPhoto.com, and we attached it to the top of this story.
On top of that, some readers may have noticed the mention of Tennessee U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles in the righthand corner of the tweet about Trump's alleged endorsement. This appeared to mean that the person who created the fake account repurposed the picture of the former president after Ogles used it somewhere online.
It was unclear how the account with the full spelling of the racial epithet in its handle was allowed to be created on Twitter. We reached out to Twitter, via its email address for press inquiries, to ask if the account violated the platform's guidelines. In response, we immediately received an automatic reply — a pooh emoji — that all journalists were receiving from the platform in spring 2023.
It's possible that, under Twitter CEO Elon Musk's reign over the social media platform, guardrails were removed in the technology of the website that previously prevented handles with racial slurs.