On Saturday, a screengrab of an utterly vile tweet was tweeted by a well-known anti-Corbyn account
Grotesque is not a strong enough word for such a disgusting comment.
The vile tweet – and the account that made it
Rightly, the Brown tweet – or primarily the screengrab of it – sparked outrage. Labour MP Angela Smith was one who responded:
Such a comment is, of course, absolutely incompatible with membership of the Labour Party.
But before or very soon after the ‘Left Over’ tweet of the screengrab, the account was no longer on Twitter.
A discussion among Twitter users began as to the nature of the account – and even about whether it had ever existed in the first place – but it can be established that the account did exist. However, it seems to have existed only to make that tweet – responses to the now-vanished account are limited to a few made to the tweet quoted by ‘Left Over’:
The bottom four responses shown above have the ‘@deanbrownlab’ account rendered in red, showing that they were replies to the account while it was still live. The next one above, made on the same day, is in black, showing that it was typed in but not ‘live’ at that point.
If the account ever made any other tweets, nobody responded to them to leave a trace on Twitter. There are no earlier mentions.
The account name was then briefly changed to ‘@oratorioazamour’, before that was also deleted.
The image in the ‘Dean Brown’ account was stolen. Kai Murphy-Dunn tweeted to Angela Smith that it was his:
Searches of Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo returned no meaningful results for the search term ‘”Dean Brown”+”Labour”, apart from comments on the vile tweet:
A modus operandi?
The description and structure of the ‘Dean Brown’ account had a familiar look. Described by ‘Left Over’ as “a former Labour Party staffer, is a
@jeremycorbyn supporter and a member of both @UKLabour and @PeoplesMomentum“, there was no evidence for any of its claims – but they were similar to those used on a fake account last year.
One which fooled not only former Labour leadership hopeful Yvette Cooper but also the Israeli government.
In July last year, Ms Cooper tweeted a number of screengrabs as evidence of ‘online abuse’. Among those she quoted was a reply by an account ‘@WesBrownLab‘ with a similarly disgusting reference to the murder of Jewish people:
The account made claims to support Jeremy Corbyn and to be a Labour staffer similar to those made by the ‘Dean Brown’ account:
No Wesley Brown has ever worked for the Labour Party as an adviser to Jeremy Corbyn – nor indeed in any capacity, according to the party.
But even the Israeli government had been fooled by it.
In 2015, the Israeli foreign ministry slammed the account after it blamed the Paris massacre on zionism – but as the Telegraph reported:
The foreign ministry quickly realised its mistake and apologised. “Unfortunately, many fell in the trap,” a spokesman said.
‘DeanBrownLab‘. ‘WesleyBrownLab‘. Same structure, even the same surname – and both claiming Labour staffer status and support for Jeremy Corbyn. Clearly someone wants readers of the accounts’ appalling tweets to get the message that it is a Labour account – and to make the association between the disgusting comments and the Labour leader.
The Wesley Brown fake account – for such it indisputably was – was also closely associated with other well-known fake accounts that still exhibit similar behaviour.
Angela Smith was contacted for comment about her response, but no reply was received by the time of publication.
The similarities in construction and behaviour between ‘DeanBrownLab’ and ‘WesleyBrownLab’ are striking – and they made comments that rightly caused outrage.
However, they both clearly appear to be fakes, constructed by a person or persons ready – in both instances – to cynically exploit the murder of Jewish people in order to smear the Labour Party and its leader as antisemitic.
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