Tony Khan poked the AEW vs. WWE bear — and maybe helped pop a really good Rampage rating — when he tweeted about “an army of bots” signal boosting tweets critical of his company, and rhetorically questioned what deep-pocketed person or organization could be behind them.
In the weeks since, we got a report that Khan commissioned the study he cited in the tweets, which he confirmed while clarifying he didn’t hire his own analytics company to do the work. We still haven’t seen the data though.
Thanks to Scott Fishman of TV Insider, we do now have TK on the record about the “army of bots”:
“What I’ve seen was a lot of anti-AEW accounts that are really focused on the things they don’t like. A lot of those are legitimate things. Some of those points I’m trying to address. Some of them I don’t agree with, but the point is a lot of these are the same people. There are a handful of accounts that are being run by a few people running a lot of accounts. Those are real people. A lot of their engagement, their retweets, likes, people responding, and signal boosting for what they are saying, those are bots. You got a network of a few people with a lot of identities powered by a bunch of bots. I’m not making this up. I have hired IT experts that put together a much more sophisticated explanation than I’m capable of giving. It’s a real thing, or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I have a pretty good reputation in this business for honesty.”
Look, I’ve been in this internet game for a while, and I don’t doubt that someone would organize a social media campaign against a wrestling company they don’t like. If there’s anything I doubt about Tony’s tweets, it’s the part about such a campaign being “wildly expensive”. But I digress...
If he wants folks to believe him, he’d be better served having the IT experts explain what they discovered about “the staunch anti-AEW online community”. Telling us we can trust him because other people know him to be trustworthy only compounds the Trumpian nature of the original claim.
Honestly though, Khan probably doesn’t care if we believe him, as long as watch we Dynamite tonight.