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Mitch Perry Report for 5.20.16 — Hacked off

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Condolences this morning to St. Pete Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, who lost her husband, Tampa Bay Times outdoor reporter Terry Tomalin. Condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Moving on, the documentary “Weiner” is set to open today in some markets around the country (though not Tampa, though wouldn’t it be great if the Tampa Theatre folks could get it down here?). It’s a documentary on disgraced former NYC Congressman Anthony Weiner’s ill-fated mayoral campaign from a few years ago.

There’s no reason to rehash all the tawdry details of his demise, but you might recall that when an embarrassing tweet was sent out via his Twitter account, he initially denied it was his doing, falsely stating that his account had been “hacked.”

While he lied to save his skin (it didn’t work), it probably has since made many people naturally skeptical whenever somebody claims that their social media account was similarly hacked.

But it happens — just ask Laremy Tunsil.

He’s the acclaimed offensive tackle from the University of Mississippi who literally lost millions of dollars within minutes after his Twitter account was hacked, and someone unknown person used it to push out a short video of Tunsil getting stoned off his ass while wearing a gas mask, making it all the more frightening to Middle America and, more importantly, NFL general managers.

Tunsil will survive. He was drafted later than anticipated by the Miami Dolphins (the Herald wrote a story about him over the weekend entitled, “The man behind the gas mask”), and will be in the NFL this fall.

That’s all a long lead up to tell you that I was hacked on my Facebook account last Friday and Saturday, though it looks the dogs have finally been called off. A series of the most hyped up, alarming news stories from a conservative news source (I truly don’t remember the name, but it was from a group that I had never heard from before) were issued out to my account Friday morning. Once alerted, I deleted them, and moved on.

Then a few hours later, the dude who did it was back, with another 10 posts flowing from my account. That’s when I changed passwords, and apologized to “my followers” (I hate how pretentious that sounds) about the garbage that had filled their News Feeds allegedly from me.

And then the posts were back on Saturday! This time, I went through a protocol with Facebook that, well, I’m not sure what they do, but a third password has done the trick for now.

It could have been worse, like getting your checking account broken into. I think it was a child psychologist who once said, “The internet can be a dark and dangerous place.”

In other news …

You can go to almost every major city in the U.S. (and many minor ones) directly from Tampa International — except San Francisco. Can a Facebook page turn that around?

The ACLU of Florida has contacted Rick Scott, Pam Bondi and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, advising them not to defy the Obama administration’s directive regarding transgender students.

Tampa attorney Michael Steinberg has a novel way of getting a congressman’s attention — run against him.

And Patrick Murphy has snagged another endorsement in his bid for U.S. Senate, this one from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s PAC.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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