Not everyone was pleased with last Friday's amusing race to read Sarah Palin's 24,199 pages of emails. According to the liberal website PoliticsUSA as well as MSNBC.com, Palin supporters took control of the Twitter feed of Crivella West, the company which posted the documents online for MSNBC.com. While the account was temporarily hijacked, numerous pro-Palin messages like "Weiner's America or Palin's America-That Is the 2012 Choice" (what an appealing choice) were tweeted.
PoliticsUSA has the screenshots of the hacker's messages and MSNBC followed up with the company to find out what happened:
"It appears that there is a 'hole' in one of the applications (we think Facebook) that links to Twitter," Art Crivella, founder and CEO of the company, Crivella West, told msnbc.com Sunday evening. "We've disabled them and mopped up the bile and changed all the passwords."
The hacking of Crivella West is more symbolic than anything else. MSNBC's Bill Dedman explains its role in the Palin emails story:
Crivella West, a Pittsburgh company that analyzes documents in some of the largest legal cases and works with both political parties, had first offered its services for free to the state of Alaska, after officials there said in 2008 they were overwhelmed by records requests and would require payment of $15 million by any citizen or journalist seeking the records. After the state did not reply to the company's offer, msnbc.com and the company agreed to put online a free public archive of the records once the state released them.
Crivella told MSNBC that whoever was behind it was merely "sending out spam tweets pretending to be us. I think real hackers might be offended." As of now the company's Twitter feed is protected and there's only 34 followers of the account (screenshots show that only 22 people appeared to be following it when it was hijacked). So it's not as if many people were reading tweets like "Email Witch Hunt Backfires" anyway. But it's only the latest attempt by aggrieved, seemingly pro-Palin supporters to lash out online.
Last week, after Palin's widely-traveled revisionist take on Paul Revere's ride from Boston to Lexington, supporters attempted to reedit the Wikipedia page on the subject to reflect the former Governor's off-the-cuff remark. As we noted, in 2008 her own Wikipedia page had been been flatteringly reedited by supporters, forcing the frustrated site editors to lock the page. After the latest Twitter hacking, PoliticsUSA offered a blunt appraisal of the incident:
"It looks like some Palin supporters, you know the same people who wanted the teenager who hacked Sarah Palin’s email account in 2008 locked up for life, don’t understand the meaning of the word hypocrite."