USG vice-presidential candidate faces criticism and extortion charges following Twitter controversy

Undergraduate student government vice-presidential candidate Shayanna Hinkle-Moore faced a backlash on Monday after a misunderstanding about returning an ID. Credit: Jessica Langer | Campus LTV Producer

Keep your friends close and your IDs closer.

Undergraduate student government vice-presidential candidate Shayanna Hinkle-Moore faced backlash on social media on Monday after fellow student Mahika Mushuni share emails passed between. During the September 2021 exchange, Hinkle-Moore said she found Mushuni’s ID, which she thought was a fake ID, and would return it for $30.

Mushuni, a fourth-year economics student, said she jokingly reintroduced the exchange on Sunday, which was originally posted in a tweet on December 31, 2021, after hearing from a friend that Hinkle-Moore was the candidate for the vice-presidency.

“I didn’t really think it would become big in Ohio State because I don’t follow a lot of people from Ohio State on Twitter,” Mushuni said.

Mushuni said she lost her ID card after it fell out of her phone wallet. She said she picked it up from Hinkle-Moore about a week after the initial email exchange and didn’t pay anything to get it back.

Hinkle-Moore, a third-year city and regional planner, shared a statement with The Lantern through her co-director of USG presidential candidate Andrew Pierce saying she regretted assuming the piece of identity was false and was joking when she told Mushuni that she had to pay for her return.

“This was a complete misunderstanding, and I know my early tweets confused the situation. Please accept my apologies,” Hinkle-Moore said.

Those initial tweets have since been deleted after Hinkle-Moore received backlash from users, said Pierce, a third-year public policy and analyst.

Mushuni said she and Hinkle-Moore spoke publicly via Twitter replies to relay the events of the incident to other users. Hinkle-Moore’s tweets are now hidden as she made her Twitter account private.

Mushuni said the initial December 31 tweet only circulated within her inner circle of friends on Twitter, and she expected the same for this tweet. She said Hinkle-Moore’s explanatory responses to her tweet were what got her a lot of attention.

Mushuni’s Sunday tweet, which had 457 likes and 28 retweets at the time of publication, was also shared on the Ohio State Instagram Account Bar Stoolwhich garnered over 7,600 likes and 104 comments at the time of publication.

Following the online controversy, Ohio State students Michael Farquharson and Henry Levenberg created a satirical campaign to show they disagree with Hinkle-Moore’s perceived actions, said Farquharson, a second year in mechanical engineering.

Farquharson and Levenberg, a fourth year in technical education and training, posted on Reddit Monday announcing the couple’s write-in campaign, hoping to get more than the average number of write-in votes, Farquharson said.

Mushuni said she does not plan to address the incident further on social media.

“I’m not really trying to engage with her, but I would be open to a conversation with her,” Mushuni said. “I don’t want her to feel like it was a personal attack, of course. I hope people don’t personally attack him online because I think that would be very unwarranted.

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