HBO execs have "secret army" of sockpuppet accounts to attack critics on Twitter

Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of "HBO and Max Content," marshalls an army of secret sockpuppet accounts on Twitter to attack television critics with. The surprisingly pathetic, time-wasting behavior is revealed in an exposé by Cheyenne Roundtree just published by Rolling Stone.

"Dear prestige TV," [Vulture TV critic Kathryn VanArendonk] wrote, "Please find some way to communicate male trauma besides showing me a flashback to the hero's memories of trench warfare."

Bloys was annoyed, according to text messages reviewed by Rolling Stone, and sent VanArendonk's tweet to Kathleen McCaffrey, HBO's senior vice president of drama programming. "Maybe a Twitter user should tweet that that's a pretty blithe response to what soldiers legitimately go through on [the] battlefield," he texted. "Do you have a secret handle? Couldn't we say especially given that it's D-Day to dismiss a soldier's experience like that seems pretty disrespectful … this must be answered!" 

Bloys was serious. "Who can go on a mission," he asked McCaffrey, according to the messages, adding that they needed to find a "mole" at "arms length" from the HBO executive team. "We just need a random to make the point and make her feel bad." 

What an unbelievable loser. One remarkable thing is that the accounts are numbered and have stock-art photos: the sort of low-quality fake account typically assumed to be a bot—and take the same sneering tone, veering between reactionary quips and faux-woke concern trolling as the moment calls for. None of these could ever have accomplished anything whatsoever, and might only even have been seen in retrospect after their exposure.