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1/ According to the @nytimes, the app used to report results during the #IowaCaucuses "was not properly tested at a statewide scale".

Follow me, we will try to have a better picture of who is behind this app.…
@nytimes 2/ In their article, the @nytimes wrote: "The app used by the Iowa Democratic Party was built by Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company"

Pro-tip: if you are doing political tools, "Shadow" is probably not the best company name
@nytimes 3/ The Shadow Inc. has a website

In their website they describe 2 products:
- Lightrail: "the universal adapter for political data"
- Messaging: "Recruit volunteers and mobilize voters with our peer-to-peer email and texting platform"
@nytimes 4/ They also have multiple subdomains alive
@nytimes 5/ In the help subdomain we can find screenshots of their platform
@nytimes 6/ In the main page if you click on "Sign In" you will be redirected to "The Shadow Messaging"
@nytimes 7/ If we look at the privacy policy of GroundBase,, we find the name of the Shadow Inc.
@nytimes 8/ As said in their homepage GroundBase is now part of Shadow Inc.

They "make affordable and easy-to-use organizing tools for progressive organizations with teams and budgets of any size."
@nytimes 9/ So Groundbase has been acquired by Shadow Inc. and the team is made of people who worked for the Obama and Hillary campaigns.
@nytimes 10/ By looking at the SSL certificate we find another related website
@nytimes 11/ We can find Shadow Inc. on Linkedin,…. They declared between 1 - 10 employees and their "mission is to build political power for the progressive movement
by developing affordable and easy-to-use tools for teams and budgets of any size."
@nytimes 12/ The CEO of Shadow Inc. is Gerard Niemira…
@nytimes 13/ Gerard has a very good CV. He worked as Senior Product Manager and then Director of Product for the Hillary's campaign.

4 months after they lost, he founded Groundbase
@nytimes 14/ Groundbase is also on Linkedin…. They used "the solidarity company" as company name in Linkedin (check the url)...

They had between 2 - 10 employees, located in Denver and they have 1 investor.
@nytimes 15/ On their Crunchbase page,…, we can see that Higher Ground Labs invested in GroundBase.

"Higher Ground Labs" - "GroundBase". Too much "Ground" here, this is not a coincidence
@nytimes 16/ According to their Crunchbase bio Higher Ground Labs "provides capital, assistance, programming, and mentorship to talented individuals and early-stage companies that are building the next generation of progressive political technology that can help win campaigns."
@nytimes 17/ Higher Ground Labs has been created by 3 veterans of the Obama campaign: Andrew McLaughlin, Betsy Hoover, Shomik Dutta…
@nytimes 18/ Between his GroundBase and Shadow Inc. experience, Gerard, the CEO of Shadow Inc. also worked as COO and CTO for ACRONYM
@nytimes 19/ According to their Linkedin page,…, ACRONYM "is a nonprofit organization committed to building power and digital infrastructure for the progressive movement."
@nytimes 20/ ACRONYM is a bigger company, between 11 - 50 employees, founded in 2017, based in Washington, with a more professional and structured website
@nytimes 21/ Obviously they are all on Twitter, time for a mention! cc @ShadowIncHQ @gjniemira @highergroundlab @mcandrew @anotheracronym
@nytimes @ShadowIncHQ @gjniemira @highergroundlab @McAndrew @anotheracronym 22/ Summary: 3 members of the Obama's campaign funded Groundbase a company founded by a member of the Hillary's campaign after the election. Then Groundbase has been acquired by Shadow Inc. The goal of these companies is to create tools to win elections.
@nytimes @ShadowIncHQ @gjniemira @highergroundlab @McAndrew @anotheracronym 23/ This is the end of this thread, hope you liked it!
@nytimes @ShadowIncHQ @gjniemira @highergroundlab @McAndrew @anotheracronym 24/ PS: Important tweet to mention. A lot of candidates used the Shadow Inc. tools
25/ PS1: Good article of @VentureBeat about it…
26/ PS2: Nice addition by the @nytimes.
Even if you create the most beautiful piece of tech of the world, you still have to consider the human who will use it. If nobody knows or uses your app, your app is useless.…
@nytimes 27/ PS3: In a blog post, now removed from their website, ACRONYM explained the big picture. ACRONYM launched Shadow Inc. and acquired Groundbase "as part of the launch" in 2019…
@nytimes 28/ @taraemcg, the CEO of ACRONYM, announced it on Twitter in January last year
@nytimes @taraemcg 29/ PS4: For the record, ACRONYM made an official "we almost know nothing about Shadow Inc." statement few hours ago
@nytimes @taraemcg 30/ PS5: Here the official link of the campaign expenses shown in this tweet…
@nytimes @taraemcg 31/ PS6: The only interesting question of this thread: who is funding ACRONYM?…
32/ In 2017, ACRONYM spent $846,431 on advertising according to their Return of organisation Exempt From Income Tax form…
33/ According to the Google Transparency Report, ACRONYM spend $178,100 in political ads…
34/ According to the Twitter Transparency Report, ACRONYM spent $1800 in political ads on Twitter…
35/ Just lol
36/ According to the ACRONYM's tax form Lockwood Strategy Inc. is affiliated to ACRONYM.
37/ Lockwood Strategy Inc. website is quite empty They are "building a new campaign playbook. We believe the way we communicate has evolved, the electorate is online and great content, like Beyoncé, is queen."
38/ Summary: They target millenials on your demand
39/ ACRONYM as an affiliated super PAC: PACRONYM

Original right?
40/ As PACRONYM is a super PAC we have more info on his funding. In 2018 they received $2M…

Funny thing: ACRONYM sent $300,000 to PACRONYM
41/ Who is behind Lockwood Strategy Inc.? According to the WHOIS info (2017-03-31) of the Lockwood Strategy Inc. website, Tara Mc Gowan registered the domain.

She is the current CEO of ACRONYM
42/ With a reverse WHOIS lookup we can see that Tara registered a lot of domains in the past
43/ Only a small number of it are still alive
44/ Some of them are available 😅
45/ Haha you know why this game is fun? Even if they try to hide the info, they always fail 🤘

I find some clients of Lockwood Strategy Inc.. They registered the following websites:
46/ No confusion here, these 3 websites has been registered with a Lockwood Strategy Inc email but they used ACRONYM as an organisation name 🤔
47/ Gerard Niemira (you remember the CEO of Shadow Inc.), is also working at Lockwood Strategy Inc. At least they give him a work email. With it he registered
48/ With her anotheracronym email address, Tara also registered
49/ Let's talk about another investment made by ACRONYM. In Nov 25, 2019 the CEO of ACRONYM announced they invested in @CourierNewsroom
@CourierNewsroom 50/ In the about section of their website,, they wrote: "Facts and first-hand sources are our north star, and we work to expose misinformation in all its forms."
@CourierNewsroom 51/ They also declared the property of 3 others websites:
@CourierNewsroom 52/ These 3 news websites are also on Twitter @vadogwoodnews @CopperCourier @UpNorthNewsWI
@CourierNewsroom @vadogwoodnews @CopperCourier @UpNorthNewsWI 53/ When @CourierNewsroom write an article about the #IowaCaucuses, they put the fault on the old precinct chairs…
56/ I got access to the APK and analysed it. This is a React Native app which is using @auth0 for authentication, Firestore to store the data and Cloud Functions from @Firebase.
57/ The design of the authentication form is...ugly...
58/ We can see that the app has been made in the hurry (no real UI, no animations, ...). By looking at the strings we can see that the user is well guide: read the part X of the script, do that, click next
59/ Even if the goal of the app is simple, count people with certain rules, democrats deserve better than an app made on the go...
60/ When you think about it’s a crazy situation: they spent hundred of thousands dollars in ads but they are not able to create a single app.
61/ Wow it’s clearly my longest thread ever! This time it’s really the end of thread, hope you liked this #OSINT adventure.

Ofc, there is more to find, feel free to continue the investigation 😀
62/ I said it was the end of thread, I lied! 😅

In the bio of his Instagram profile, the CEO of ACRONYM mentioned the website
63/ This website is redirected to, the website of PACRONYM. We met them previously in this thread
64/ Their website is clearly targeting "the milennials": gifs, bright colors, syntax, swags
65/ According the WHOIS info (2017-09-08) of, Avery Woodard registered the domain. Hi @avery_woodard 👋
@avery_woodard 66/ Yes they used "Flower Shop" as organization name...
@avery_woodard 68/ If we check the whois with organization name equals to "Flower Shop" we only have 28 results:
@avery_woodard 69/ On the PACRONYM website,, when you click on pledge you are redirected to…
@avery_woodard 70/ Since the beginning of this thread, I shown that these companies registered more than 40 websites
@avery_woodard 71/ Can we talk about "People's Power Grab", @PeoplePowerGrab, a program of ACRONYM?
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab 72/ According to their pinned tweet "People’s Power Grab is a new program [..] working to make sure every young person and person of color in our states shows up to vote in upcoming elections."
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab 73/ LOL, 2 days ago Solomon Messing, a former staff research scientist with Facebook, announced that he took a new role as ACRONYM’s Chief Scientist. Good luck man!
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab 74/ Oh and I almost forget he is hiring: "we need mid- to senior-level data sci and data eng staff"
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab 75/ "Immediate needs relate to digital ads experimentation but also hiring for ML-focused folks + NLP/text as data types who can analyze social media data and web data."

Repeat after me: this is not what Cambridge Analytica was doing
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab 76/ This is exactly what Cambridge Analytica was doing cc @chrisinsilico
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab @chrisinsilico 77/ What is a hacker in the best sense of the word? 😅
@avery_woodard @PeoplePowerGrab @chrisinsilico 78/ It's already pretty late here, I will put this thread on pause for now. I will be back soon. For all the persons and companies mentionned in this thread, I hope you cleaned all your digital traces 😘

Ffs, this thing is the democrat version of Cambridge Analytica in realtime
79/ This is what happened when your app developers are working only with an emulator...
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