Duke University’s Twitter account was hacked Tuesday night, posting an image with Nazi and pro-Turkish messages.
The post, since deleted, depicted a Swastika, along with several hashtags with the word “Nazi” and a Turkish flag. In a post on Twitter, Duke said that its Twitter account had been hacked and that it was investigating.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said that Duke was one of thousands of Twitter accounts hacked. Others include Forbes, BBC North America and the European Parliament, according to Politico.
The hackers posted tweets from these accounts in support of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“The single tweet was removed as soon as we were alerted to it and we notified our followers of the hack in a separate tweet,” Schoenfeld noted.
This morning our Twitter account was hacked. We've now deleted the tweet and are investigating. We apologize for the earlier tweet.
— Duke University (@DukeU) March 15, 2017
Kristen Brown, associate vice president of news, communications and media, emphasized that the issue was due to a third-party Twitter analytics company—the Amsterdam-based Twitter Counter. Duke's account itself was not hacked in the way the word often suggests, she noted.
Brown added that it appears that Duke was not a specific target.
The Associated Press reported that the hackings are part of a broader "campaign of online vandalism" that has followed tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands. Turkish leaders have campaigned in Europe in support of a constitutional referendum set to take place next month that would give Erdoğan greater power. The Netherlands in particular has rebuffed efforts by the Turkish government to appeal directly to Turkish citizens in the Netherlands. In response, Erdoğan called the Dutch "Nazi remnants."
Editor's Note: This post was updated at 6:10 p.m. to include comments from Brown and additional context about Turkey and the Netherlands. Claire Ballentine and Adam Beyer contributed reporting.