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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Controversial NFL Aggregator Had an Asking Price for X Account

  • Some have questioned whether Dov Kleiman recently sold his 290,000-follower account.
  • Snapback Sports founder and CEO Jack Settleman told ‘FOS’ that he received a DM in December from Kleiman seeking $75,000 for the account.
FOS Illustration

Dov Kleiman’s popular NFL-adjacent X account has posted rumors and, occasionally, outright falsehoods over the years. It happened again Monday when @NFL_DovKleiman congratulated Raiders owner Mark Davis and his “girlfriend” on her pregnancy. 

The problem: Hayden Hopkins, a former Cirque du Soleil dancer, isn’t dating Davis, and the baby isn’t his. Hopkins called Kleiman’s claims “wildly untrue.” 

After that now deleted post went viral, questions began to swirl about who controls the account, which boasts nearly 290,000 followers. Barstool Sports’ Jack McGuire posted that Kleiman sold his account “this past season.” 

When asked Tuesday whether he sold his account and whether there’s somebody else running @NFL_DovKleiman, Kleiman told Front Office Sports: “Respectfully, I can’t comment on that Twitter account.”

Kleiman told FOS in November that aggregating NFL content was “draining sometimes.” Snapback Sports founder and CEO Jack Settleman told FOS that he received a DM in December from Kleiman seeking $75,000 for the account.

“I was curious,” Settleman said. “It’s very, very hard to grow a Twitter following of that size, especially in the NFL space. We’d have to turn a lot of things around [related to the content the account traditionally posted]. A lot of it was scummy, but you couldn’t doubt his work ethic. He put out a hundred tweets a day.” 

Settleman passed on the offer and said Kleiman countered with a lower amount. Settleman said that Kleiman sold his X account earlier this year for around $75,000. Two other sources within the NFL aggregator space also said that Kleiman sold his account, although neither provided a number. 

One major reason Settleman didn’t bite, he says, is X’s terms of service that bans users from selling accounts. There are marketplaces, however, where social media accounts are traded and the sites get a cut of the total, even if such a practice is against X’s policy. (Accounts that trade hands for a price could get banned permanently.)

The only response from X before publication was an automatic reply: “Busy now, please check back later.”

Since the Super Bowl, those two sources noticed a change in verbiage in Kleiman’s post. Was he running his posts through some AI setup? Hired somebody to help him out in the offseason? Did he really get out of the aggregator game by selling? 

There was a series of transactions in February through the “send a tip” icon on Kleiman’s X account. The Bitcoin account linked to @NFL_DovKleiman shows nearly $21,000 worth of the cryptocurrency was deposited Feb. 19, eight days after Super Bowl LVIII. All that money was quickly offloaded elsewhere on the blockchain. There’s no way to tell what the payments were for, but the total is a noticeably large figure for a tip.

FOS has interviewed Kleiman via Zoom in the past from his home. He was open to criticism, if quick to explain his posts, which have included Caleb Williams demanding an ownership stake from the Bears. (There was no demand and it’s against NFL rules, anyway.) 

“You go in thinking he’s the biggest sleazeball ever,” Settleman said. “But the crazy thing is that when you get him on Zoom, he seems genuine.”

Kleiman was on Twitter long before Elon Musk bought it, changed its name, and launched the monetization program last July. The two sources estimated that Kleiman could have pulled in close to six figures since the program launched since his posts trend so often. 

But a lot of those posts from monetization-eligible accounts trend for spreading false information or for being salacious. One bulwark against the fake news is Community Notes—corrections that demonetize posts—and Kleiman’s account has had some of those

Beyond those corrections, Kleiman has also been accused of hacking into the @TheGameDayNFL account to trash NFL reporters and other NFL aggregators. Kleiman denied he did so after the Caps Off podcast crew laid out the allegations in an eight-minute video.

“There’s probably a disconnect between his posts and journalistic integrity, but can’t deny how effective he is,” Settleman said. “He’s still constantly getting picked up.”

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