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Washington Redskins Twitter blunder leads to accusations of fake community profile

A Twitter goof has raised alarm bells concerning the authenticity of a Washington Redskins community-led profile.

During a game against the Chicago Bears game on December 13, a tweet was sent from the team’s official Twitter account concerning a touchback on a Bears punt. Weirdly, the exact same tweet was also sent out via the “Redskins Facts” fan account at the same time.

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The social media faux pas was spotted by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg, who posted screen-grabs of the matching tweets as proof of the blunder.

Consequently, the innocent tweet has become the subject of a heated debate regarding the status of the Redskins Facts fan page. More than just a mere Twitter entity, Redskins Facts spans other social networks, and includes a website dedicated to the wider Redskins community. It is primarily used as a fan platform in defense of the team’s controversial name, which has drawn criticism for its racist connotations.

Although former Redskins players are reportedly sponsoring the site, which launched last year, the team itself has always maintained that it is first and foremost a grassroots online community made up of fans and supporters of its logo and name.

This, however, isn’t the first time the website has come under fire. Almost immediately after its launch in July 2014, it was outed as being run by PR firm Burson-Marsteller, by Slate – a fact quickly confirmed by the Redskins.

In the wake of the revelation, Burson-Marsteller spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan stated the following to Reuters: “We have been retained by the Washington Redskins and the player alumni association to provide technical and editorial support to distribute information to those who inquire about the team’s history and name, which includes the website redskinsfacts.com.”

Unfortunately for the Washington Redskins, the Twitter goof further indicates that the team itself is in some capacity using the fan-labelled site as a front in its PR battle to save its name.

In its defense, the team has once again reiterated that Redskins Facts is an account managed by a PR firm and that it has no involvement regarding content on any of the fan site’s outlets.

“Yesterday our social media team accidentally posted a Redskins-authored tweet to the third-party Redskins Facts account, which is an account founded by alumni players and supporters and managed by a D.C. public relations firm,” a Redskins spokesman told the Washington Post. “It was a simple login error that was quickly corrected after the mistake was realized. The Washington Redskins have never posted content to any of the Redskins Facts digital assets.”