RUTLAND – After a series of repeated tweets this past week, authorities have revealed that “Dave Sunderland,” former chair of the Vermont Republican Party, does not actually exist. “Sunderland” was a bot, created by Russian hackers to interfere with Vermont democracy. Suspicions were aroused after Sunderland sent dozens of identical tweets over multiple days, and then sent many more nearly identical tweets tagging various Vermont Democrats over the course of several weeks. Police arrived at Sunderland’s house in Rutland, only to find it completely empty with the exception of a robotic head connected to a laptop.
“I always thought there was something off about the guy,” said current VT GOP chair Deb Billado. “He would come to dinners and not eat or drink anything, and he was always plugged into the wall. We thought he was charging one of his devices. We never dreamed, however, that he was one of the devices.”
Twitter does not plan to take down Sunderland’s account, despite concrete proof that he is a Russian bot, saying only “Twitter’s best traffic comes from questionable humans under possible Russian influence.”
The Vermont Democrats’ Twitter account posted a sympathetic and professional response to the news, tagging Sunderland in a tweet reading “Ha ha! Suck it you lying racist botwaffle! #Dems4Lyfe #YourMom #Boobs”
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