Bryan Colangelo Twitter "Burner" Scandal a Lesson in Technology

Sixers president Bryan Colangelo better hope this is all the team finds when it investigates the "burner" Twitter accounts he allegedly used.
Sixers president Bryan Colangelo better hope this is all the team finds when it investigates the "burner" Twitter accounts he allegedly used. Screenshot
Bryan Colangelo has been making denials like a politician. The Philadelphia 76ers president has been alleged to have used multiple Twitter "burner" accounts to post player health information, troll former GM Sam Hinkie and praise himself in a fascinating story by The Ringer.

The gist is that Colangelo supposedly had multiple anonymous Twitter accounts, using several of them to leak sensitive information about Sixer players and criticize those who disagreed with him. When Ringer writer Ben Detrick asked the Sixers about two of the accounts, not revealing he knew about the other three, the remaining accounts suddenly became private on the same day.

Colangelo has denied any involvement and his star center Joel Embid has said Colangelo spoke to him personally and he believes him for now.

Detrick began looking into the story after a tip from an anonymous source used an open-source tool to discover the five accounts had similarities in tone and language use. After following the accounts and noting the information posted by them, Detrick began to wonder if it was indeed someone at the Sixers posting to them and began his investigation.

These are the types of stories that shine a light on just how vulnerable many are to the lure of social media and also how clueless most are when it comes to how technology works. Maybe Colangelo really didn't do it and it's all a big coincidence, but there clearly seems to be more going on here and the devil is always in the details when it comes to technology.

Ultimately, someone will figure it out. The Sixers are now investigating the incident and even if Colangelo were to delete all the accounts from his phones and computers, there would be a trail. And the person following that trail is undoubtedly going to be better at understanding how the digital world works than the Sixers GM.

To make it worse, there isn't any way to claim your account was hacked as has happened over and over again with dumb posts to social media. The only reason people continue to drag out that tired excuse is that it creates doubt on some level and, if they play it cool after that, it's possible they can get away with it. Given the 15-second shelf life of internet scandals, they are probably right.

But, to think someone who has been one of the best at his job in his profession might be dumb enough (nevermind petty and disloyal) to pull something like this just goes to show no one is above it.

For now, Colangelo will deny it all and the Sixers will investigate. At the end of the day, his job is on the line, so he better hope, if he did indeed do this, he covered his tracks well. Our guess is he probably didn't.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke