- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Chicago Sun-Times has suspended veteran film critic Richard Roeper after a New York Times report alleged that he purchased fake Twitter followers.

“We became aware over the weekend of issues relating to Rich Roeper’s Twitter account,” Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Chris Fusco said in a statement Monday. “We’re investigating these issues. We will not be publishing any reviews or columns by Rich until this investigation is complete.”

A New York Times report published Saturday claimed that Mr. Roeper, who has been with the Sun-Times since 1982, paid to boost his Twitter following with fake followers generated by an American company named Devumi. The report said Devumi draws on “an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over,” and that at least 55,000 of those accounts use the names, profile pictures, hometowns and other personal details of real Twitter users, including minors.

The Times did not say how many of Mr. Roeper’s 224,000 followers were paid for. He did not respond to the Sun-Times’ requests for comment Monday.

Mr. Roeper succeeded late film critic Gene Siskel in co-hosting the television series “At the Movies” with Roger Ebert from 2000 to 2008.

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