This week, we talk to the world’s most obsessive tracker of politicians' secret online lives. And ask for help on a very spooky mission.
Ashley's article on James Comey's secret twitter and instagram accounts: https://gizmodo.com/this-is-almost-certainly-james-comey-s-twitter-account-1793843641
Ashley's article on Mitt Romney's secret twitter account: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/mitt-romney-has-a-secret-twitter-account-and-it-sure-looks-like-its-this-one.html
Ashley's article on Pete Buttigieg's Wikipedia page: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/12/pete-buttigieg-wikipedia-page-editor.html
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by a Sana. A saga is an app designed to help teams plan, organise and execute all the work they do together. It helps you make sure nothing falls through the cracks, so you can focus on the work that matters most learn more
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from Yemen is required and he gave us an analytical, Alex yeah we're trying something or try and new segment,
I am a little nervous about trying to segments, because what, if we try at once, they were like winner. Do this again?
no one ever during an alibi.
We're trying a new segment, everybody Maine,
we'll. Do it again jealousy so segment wearing how deep dive themes and
again. Is that one of us it's hard to somebody who just gone way deeper into some weird mysterious pocket of the internet, then your eye is really keep up
yeah and then we'll talk to them and be like? How exactly did you do this so this week I spoke to this reporter,
whose articles I really enjoyed her name's. Actually, fine burg. She writes it's late and I think it's safe to say that, like politicians live in a low level, fear of her. What what is your do? You have a beat, I mean guess
but like it's as it is the part the promises it. I know it s a question like I the easy answers like culture and politics, but it's really just sort of anything I think is like bad or funny or we're. My favorite thing about Ashley is her ability to catch politicians in winter.
Is leader, must unguarded moments on the internet and it's not like she's, using hacking tools or any kind of specialised technology. To do this. She just really good at finding embarrassing secrets than herbs or hidden in plain sight its. It feels I kind of like a superpower to me,
It does piss. Alot of you mean, there's some chorus of how dare you invaders persons
I see- and this is an internal, is- and this is digging through garbage all law which, like the
Yes, like eight or nine is garbage like it is digging through GOSH back, but anything if
How about a powerful public person should be public knowledge? Ashley's first
Major political catch was in twenty seventeen. When then FBI director James Homey, gave a speech where he said that he had a secret. Instagram
I have an instagram account. Nine followers nobody's get in,
they're, all immediate relatives than one daughter, serious boyfriend. Let a man could are serious enough and
I actually just like hey thanks for all the clues that might help me find your hidden account, I'm going to go, try and find it now. Okay, so the first thing she did was go on Instagram and start looking at James Comey's. Relatives
most of those accounts were private and it's really hard to get any information from a private account right, luckily, for Ashley the way that the end.
Graham algorithm worked at that time was, if you attempted to follow,
who had a private account instagram would be like hey. I see that you tried to follow this person,
Let me recommend to you a bunch of people that they follow guys like you're following leg
If, if somebody like you and your wife, a big each survived, follow their kids, all right so actually requests to follow. James combing son
and then Instagram immediately recommends a bunch of other accounts, mostly people, the lessening co me, but there's one account that recommends which has no profile picture. The account is locked and it has the name Reinhold Neighbour and actually was like. That's it we're name and she looked at
and apparently James Commie did his thesis on this. The illusion named Reinhold Neber, so then she's like ok. This represents a jet coming.
But then she started wondering like I wondered.
This is username anywhere else, and then I searched on twitter for that.
Name, and there are like fear for accounts. I use that
your name, but only one of them that was waving, tons and tons of swedes about that the age and coming back,
long after she publish the article James Combing ACT,
we confirm that the account with his, which was very gratifying for Ashley instinct
and that was that the FBI directed TAT in performed like upside well enough to cover his tracks on twitter?
how long did it? Take you a couple days remaining twenty four hours to leg for hours to find the head of the FBI's.
Secret twitter account going on just the follower account and who he follows. Like that's impressive, yeah meeting that challenges there is, as I say, it was a pretty big deal. Would you,
call me secret accounts, but the downside was like you haven't we,
anything his instagram was private, but Ashley's. Next catch was a little more rewarding what happened so Mitt Romney was the subject of an article by Mackay compensates for the Atlantic. O icily icily saw this actually catch. The Romans rogue had so this catch started.
With this Mackay carbons article that basically said like Mitt Romney is now sort of like he's like a bit of a rebel cause. He stands up to the Trump administration and is willing to her speak his mind. But
and I read the article. I remember- and I was just like her home fine yeah, fine Mackay, great article, but
actually noticed something really valuable in that article that everybody else messed so
At one point in the story, Romney tells me K, Collins
like an aside. I have a secret twitter account quote. I won't give you the name of it. I'm following six hundred
sixty eight people. Why do they always do there's swiping at his table?
He recited some of the accounting follows, including journalists, late night comedians MIKE and athletes and, of course to actually this is all gold. This is like all valuable information, those things.
Seem like very obvious challenges to me. When I read them partial business, it is shocked that Mackay Hopkins was Aunt Bessie, following up like a barrage of questions surrounding about what that account was in our body eased a word basis,
So again, she was like. Well, I'm gonna go look through Mitt Romney family has probably Mitt Romney following family members on Twitter and his eldest, granddaughter was being followed by an account that had it followed about
one hundred people here- and you may remember this- the the name was Zalm, Pierre Delectable. Why Pierre de facto? The thing is it? It sounds very much like an aim. Mitt Romney would she is as a fake name and
One thing the bunch of us Ed or mention was that when he was like doing his missionary work, he was in France and peered Elect owes a sort of like a semi french way of saying pure delight, and the thing about peer delectable is that he actually spent most of his time defending Mitt Romney.
Like there was this incident where Jennifer Reuben, who, whose opinion rate
for the Washington Post critics
I strongly on Twitter and wrote quote inside Romney's trumped strategy
strategy is non confrontation verging on spineless and peered Electra responded. Jennifer you need to take a bath
Maybe you can then acknowledge the people who agree with you in large measure, even if not in every measure.
What's funny, but this is even though you can tell that he's annoyed at being called spineless and even though he can say whatever he wants, because it's an anonymous account you still kind of like print.
Proper labelling, Herzog, cursing yeah, and so actually
she's out. Romney gets no response, and so she goes to publish the
Nicole. That was a little worried about that when this cause I had, it would seem like. I had to get have luck so far that
like, sir, that this can be wrong by getting pretty cool
they afterwards Mackay apparently called upon me and asked him if it was him and Romney's. Only common was Seymour up up up up up up up up up up. Some laws is adjourned.
Really cool response to like lag, is very depressing for it to come from, like Mitt Romney guest room in the wake of this actually start getting tons of tips from people who are linked. I think I found the secret social media committed point politician. I found like
over the years like battle dot net log in order that is there a specific way that kind of thing yeah and one of those tapes leads to what is like
my personal favorite of her investigations she gonna take. That said, I think that one of these
and it has been writing and editing their own Wikipedia page for the last decade, which, like one of Wikipedia foundational rules, is don't edit. Your own page, yes in the
yes, in the violated raw, I mean it's not a high crime. It just comes off is really tacky,
anyway, so this tipper says to actually hey. You should check out this particular Wikipedia editor good by the username streaming streaming yeah. This person had been basically making at its and they were there creator of the original people who get Wikipedia page before he was even mare and not someone that someone would probably thing to create account for unless they were either his biggest fan.
Himself what was he before? He was mere. He was running for treasurer and some someone try to create a cage. I was running for treasurer and Indiana and it got deleted because he was not notable and they put up a very
respectable fight. Trying to prove that he was in fact notable, but
competing editors are, like sorry, no he's not notable, but then people to judge wins the sap and may already so suddenly he's notable and so the next day streaming like springs and action. He adds p budapest to a list of notable road scholars. Six minutes after he does that he creates a Wikipedia page for people to judge that is just a heavily foot noted parade of every
which meant he's ever made in his short life and then six minutes after that he leaves a note for other Wikipedia editor saying like here. I know that this page might read a little bit like a resume. I just one
Everybody knows that are not affiliated with campaign. It's like the disclaimer of our person, who is
definitely involved in the caravan? Not who? I am not an officer of the law, but I would like to buy a quantity of drunken illegal ones, things and then streaming adds PETE Buddha judge to the Wikipedia page of notable Buddha,
it would have been even of notable Buddha judges. There are five who are the others at sea Buddha judge to Maltese surname of there's more now, there's one two, three four: five: six notable votes. There's a letter
wow, it's mostly maltese and australian politicians and people to judge unaware anyway,
at this point actually is investigating streaming this editor and she thinks like it.
Very much within the realm of possibility that this that this was all done by just someone who is a big fan of people to judge
there's some at its that are made by stealing that feel so specific and personal to to judged that at least had to come from somebody close down. Ok, like
he edited the page for this musician named David Wax, but
She was digging around and you realize, like oh David Wax, he just happens to be
of people. It is best friends and pleaded his wedding has more suspicious and it turns out that the screen name that this
and using to edit on Wikipedia their names streaming. That itself is a clue. Can you explain
significance of the username streaming so yeah. Firstly, a figure out what it was, and then she like, Google, stealing there's like a bunch of old irish poetry, sort of comes up and though I think a word stray all is used
yeah is used in Eubulus is to refer to a woman in one of the episodes and like people to judge says that Ulysses is one of his favorite books of all time, which actually thinks is just another point in the oh, it's definitely inside job column and are actually actually went to the publicity campaign.
With all of this evidence, instead like pay someone on your campaign doing this and they were like, we don't know what you're talking about
streaming, whoever that is is not connected to our campaign in anyway, honestly, like it, I dont think that
he had just acknowledged it was him or that it was a he had instructed to do this.
I don't even know that I will destroy published it because I dont really it's not worth it. Wasn't that interesting things he was doing like the really interesting thing to me was that he denied it and, like I said
that was thick more revealing than anything else with small decay. I it's the cover, but the thing that made this dinner
seem even less credible to me. Was that actually found what
He seemed a lot like smoking gun. What was smoking gun if it's it's just as little breadcrumb that had been dropped way back when people to judge was mayor, and is this photo that someone tried to upload to the Wikipedia page? And it's just a typical politician, headshot of people to judge of her, so the other Wikipedia editors actually deleted this picture because they said we don't have explicit permission from the person who holds a copyright on this picture to you
it on his page. So we can use it, but there are these mirror sites that will basically just crawl Wikipedia error whenever website there mirror of, unlike pick up the content that is added to it, and they don't get everything, but there was one that had lain miraculously save the hall
file, and so our original metadata was on it. She downloads the picture, yes looks at the meadow Data of
picture and it contains all of the information about like the camera that took it, meaning like it's not a copy. It's not a compressed air average, its new and original.
Ojo and there in the meadow data of the photo it actually
as the name of the photographer and the conduct of the victim.
For who told me that he had only given the
login password to download it to the campaign and so like theirs?
no other like way that someone could have gone it at last. They had gone directly from their campaign, so it
Not as I do the campaign, we
to believe in a world where the world's biggest p booty judge, fan
totally watergate their offices stole ahead,
lately, they ve broken exemplary role, but only in order to have these Wikipedia of Asia I'll make it so. Weird to me, like a gives, the feeling of lake. It feels good
and then Mitt Romney Mitt Romney, was like a person trip like trying to let it here too big it yeah, that's the other thing you have a little more sympathy for. The guy is like one of those young people, sometimes a very polite way. Then the guys, like I or close associate for myself in a notable road scholars- listen, I wanna bet it it's just like if it is PETE or someone on his campaign in this particular attempt to control how he appears to the public. He then adversely said some kind of unflattering about himself like
that he's kind of a try, hard yeah. I should say that we reached out to the people to get campaign for comment, and they continue to deny that people to judge or
Anyone involved in the campaign had anything to do with this Wikipedia count account in your ultimate deepest dreams. Could you hoped to find, unlike what do you have to find
I would love to find donging urge dealing valor, which is it like
stealing valor means pretending to be in the military or a former or a veteran when you
actually not the single greatest conservative com. You can commit right, that's that's!
But night, an annual accounts. They don't know like the thing is like the morgue
I kind of the more the I am too like the stupid or smaller stuff. Just because gadget seems like those are getting harder,
by and by, but why do you think they're getting harder to find? I think people are more careful engine
what sort of a lot more aware of the photos opposing themselves, unlike what is in the background of the voters, Debussy Limbs,
like one thing I really enjoy is when politician or any prominent person post a photo of their computer screens or of backs, and you can see like the tabs, unlike with windows that are like hiding in plain sight, but it doesn't happen, then, nothing more if you like that. Those are like the single greatest things that could happen to like they're getting rare and where which like
terrifies me: would it help for our listeners descend natives gamete if I love also isotopes outta? This sounds good
if you suspect you,
sounds like Jimmy Carter photo Bucket or whenever you can send a tip.
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welcome back to the shell areas, rocks yeah, something I people don't totally rise. Is that
for every story that we err on the show, usually there a bunch that we pursued the just didn't work out an usually we don't talk or their stories, because there's always a Sykes Slim out that somehow will find a way to make those for his work. But today I wanted to make an exception to that very reasonable rule
I want to talk about last year's big failure of youths that Europe falls. I don't think
They raise false and I feel like it's my fault. I don't blame me for what happened. Ok, but what did happen was actually rather just recently. The premise, let me just play what we recorded back then so we're your body here is from may have twenty nineteen, ok, slacks, yeah Germans movie get out yeah, we didn't see it together. We now we did not see any other. Ok,
I didn't see it, and it's very frustrating for me to not see it because it was like you know what are those things that, like everyone see that everybody talks about any becomes almost like the dominant metaphor,
everyone's brain afterwards, USA Kirsty. It was like a hasty I'd like seeing sarcastically I've like participating in culture and like hearing our people like, and why and figure out how I feel about it and I completely completely complete did not want to get out. You know why,
Well, I've seen two movies with you. I think in the time that we ve known each other one was attacked the block yes, which for people
don't know, is an alien invasion set in the housing projects of London, very good movie, very good movie and dry.
Which is rang gasoline up it's driving around and falling in love in stopping heads, ok movie and during both of those movies, you were in the feed opposite
in feed over the shaping of the sailor, read your knees up to your chest. I guess that's kind of a fuel position with your fingers fanned out in front of your eyes.
Doing what my mom does when I drive, which is going
that's more or less true, and these are not like super scary movies, no attack the black is like a is like a caper yeah
and drive drivers, it s pretty bloody drama now,
of them are Gary. So I'm an adult, manicamp, scary movies, like at all like I'm terrified of them, I drive ignoble,
you're from them and like even movies, that are sort of scary adjacent. It's tough for me to watch why I think some people and them
people, don't I superdome enjoy them and I always remember, never enjoy now make not just being scared by scary movies. Being scared, like of seeing scary movies like
One of the earliest memories- I have your movie honey. I shrink the kids. Yes, yes, so what happened was the first movie? I went to go see with my dad having for and we got to the theatre, we sit down or seeds trailer. First experience of movie trailers comes on four Edwards
hands, and you were out of there. I was terrified, I loved fear. I think I've got crying in the lobby. My dad was like pretty frustrated because, like he'd gone to take its kiddo movie is give us do like a walk out, and I refuse to go back in and he was like it's a trailer. It's not part of the movie Edward says her hand will not appear in this lake wreck, Miranda's family caper, but a dab. When I remember that in the trailer there's a giant aunt because they get shrunk as like I've, now I want to see the cartagena- it's scary, for me,
while it's like my earliest memory of like truly leg, bye, dad realising that he had raised a week, son, unlike feel embarrassed about it, and I don't think he took me to refer very light after that. So basically, like my whole life at Venice, like wide path of culture that had to avoid and is very frustrating and it's been more frustrating because of get out and then with the new on us us.
Like it just feels like the like a for a wildly who cares, Caserne movies or another there dumb but like I can miss them and are not missing much and if it's really scary all agree, the Wikipedia Entry and with upon some ranges they haven't, met from that, but it's fine, but what you have nightmares from Wikipedia Entry. I have had nightmares when Peter and for what that movie with the scary, goat and the witches Gimme, the witch yeah
yeah. I got one from that. Anyway, last year I really fresher out get out stuff, and I wanted to. I started a relic whether I could change where there can be different, and I read this article by chorus
He got who is also the writer but who also scared of scary movies, and he found this professor, who studied sake. Both wives
like ceremonies when it down- and
how to start making them. If you want do the thing he said there was really really surprising me was that you, like you, can you can change like it's just basin,
like exposure therapy like the same way? Some people are scared of,
nine airplanes they like making sit on their fake airplane and pretend to take off? If you watch scary movies over time, you can go from person who hates them to a person who enjoys them
so I wanted to talk to that guy. He died but, like I wanted to start to make myself a service of lake, starting at very unscared movies like starting at
nineteen twenty ease like black and lay like Frankenstein movies or ever
maybe moving up to lake. She
Easy, like really really cheesy
key movies. Aren't gonna scare me Alex even just like in a very
cowardly way like inch into the pool to get a virus. I could just go see like get out
her eyes like in a movie their great now. The only way I can watch even kind of scary movies is, I watch them on my laptop.
In a small window during the day, so I can like tab away from it if it's too scary
So my understanding is that exposure therapy as lake is like exposing you two things
you're scared of on the other
standing that it will be safe, is etc.
Yeah, like on the understanding that you will be there with that that there is not you weren't, no harm is going to come to you. I have a quick.
For you. So I'm wondering if, if I can be the doktor who guides you through your exposure, thereby Doktor Galvin, spooky arabesque yeah. Ah I promise no harm will come to you. What do you mean what you say no harm? You won't be injured.
I think I can make it happen. You can scare me into ok us. I can scare you into not being scared at get out. Ok, if I could just watch get out,
enjoy it. That would be like a thing about this. I could already
the other that
I said I was last May and at the time the plant basely needs and tell you have or movies as area was
you take her out of horror movies and create legged terror. Exposure programme from
very scientific, it was very elaborate, is, I would say, very
we ve had left the realm of just watching scary movies, internet EU creating secure her disappearance. Another very bizarre there's like we were handcuffed together when pointers bud. There's spooky nighttime excursions in the woods, but not if it worked
yeah. I think that he raised his leg. Basically, the problem is that as eyes, it's like Doktor Alex administering these merriment Enerve, like anything, can happen in never left the realm of just being like you hanging out with
friend yeah. Exactly so the reason we're talking about this is we had the idea
Recently, a vague o r listeners could have access to some kind of spooky low cow,
like if we know somebody who is the landlord to like it
Tories, murder, house or you know, lives in an abandoned
attention re or like if the crypt keeper listens to the soldiers, huge man, Dunder, courtier, impression,
I know the events that only the data reply- scowl hello kitty. So what
could he verve you're out there? I was golden loves you anyway, we we wines rank as to basely ass, her listeners. If you have access to a very scary experience or place or whatever link if you're the spooky has no world please
touch US carriers. If we want to do this again, can I tell you the one location that didn't work out, which I really wanted to work out so badly when we are trying to come up with a scary place. Yet there is a
island in the middle of its think, it's in the bay
just north of Brooklyn and there's a lighthouse on it and apparently
before the Revolutionary WAR, the British would take their colonial prisoners there
lash them to the rocks and when the tide drowned them. Oh my eyes,
let you sleep there and I was like a really wanna go do this. Can it sounds horrified that in his
trapped on an island in a lighthouse
can we do that because I called the guy and I was like yeah, I'm gonna, be there
we're gonna, be other people there too, and I was like what can we just do it ourselves like? You can just drop us off there and he was like no, and I was like what is there I'm trying to scare my friend he's like? No? No
so if you were out
listening and you have access to your own spooky lighthouse or you're, the crept or whatever
send an email reply, all add, gimmick, media dot, com such spooky times
and if we can find a successful, we're series of successful scary experiences with China
revile, assisted by me Peter vote. Now it's comin reproduce better
deepening and Amy feel abandoned, Damietta Mark Hetty and fully just a young man with judge our executive producers. Tim Howard, Remix, pirate con backtracking by Michel here,
our internal sleaze way our theme, science by the mysterious break MR cylinder. The theme for deep dive was composed by the multi, talented Alex.
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-25.