Instagram account ridicules SGA candidates; investigation reveals connection to campaign manager


CW / Ainsley Platt

These screenshots were provided by “Concerned Student”

Editor’s Note (2/25/2023): This story has been updated to include that Jordan Suttles has now relieved his campaign manager of her duties.

At 1:26 p.m. on Feb. 22, a notification went off. It was an email, from a “Concerned Student” to editors of The Crimson White, alleging that Jordan Suttles, an Arts & Sciences candidate running for The University of Alabama’s Student Government Association Senate, had created an “anonymous Instagram account to spread hate.” The account, @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx was commenting distasteful messages on other candidates’ Instagram posts. 

Suttles denied knowing anything about the account, and said he felt like he was being targeted. 

Suttles and his campaign manager, Sneha Subramani, provided multiple screenshots and videos as evidence to back up their claims that Suttles was not responsible for the account. On Feb. 23, a CW reporter met with Suttles and Subramani to verify the authenticity of the materials they provided in-person.  

A CW reporter noticed that one frame of a screen recording of Subramani‘s phone contained an email address that had the same first and last characters as the email linked to the anonymous Instagram, along with the same first letter of its domain. After meeting with Subramani and Suttles again, The CW was able to determine that Subramani was logged into the account @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx on her phone, and that the account was registered to an iCloud email currently used as her Apple ID. Subramani was adamant that she had nothing to do with the account, and that she didn’t know how it was on her phone. 

A “Concerned Student” 

The Crimson White team was contacted by [email protected]. The email provided information about the anonymous Instagram account, @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx, as well as a list of comments from the account, screenshots of said comments, and a video which the author of the email claimed confirmed Suttles’ ownership of the account. 

The email alleged the comments were directed at Collier Dobbs, a candidate for SGA president, and Josie Schmitt, a candidate for executive vice president. Neither of their opponents received comments from the account, and The CW is not aware of any other SGA candidates receiving these comments.  

The screenshots that were included in the email are attached below. The metadata in the image files indicated that all three were taken between 12:26 p.m. and 12:27 p.m. on Feb. 22. Additionally, the format of the screenshots indicates that the comments were captured from the notifications section of Instagram. The screenshots do not include evidence that they were left on Dobbs’ and Schmitt’s accounts.

The Crimson White reached out to both campaigns to verify the authenticity of the allegations. Nick Tolbert, a member of Dobbs’ Top Five, confirmed that the comments were left on Dobbs’ account and supplied a screenshot taken at 11:59 a.m. on Feb. 22 that matches the screenshots sent to The CW. Tolbert said Dobbs did not delete the comments as it would be “an obstruction of speech,” and said he thought the anonymous account had been deleted since the comments were removed. Multiple members of Schmitt’s campaign did not respond in time for publication.

Courtesy of the Dobbs campaign


The “Concerned Student” said that they used Instagram’s password reset feature to identify the last two digits of the phone number attached to the account, cross-referenced the digits with a list of SGA candidates’ phone numbers, and identified Suttles as the only match. The video they attached, embedded below, shows the “student” typing in the username @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx followed by Suttles’ phone number (redacted for privacy), which generated an “SMS Link Sent” message that the “student” argued was proof of Suttles’ ownership of the account.

The Crimson White independently attempted the steps shown in the video and found that any phone number attached to an Instagram account would generate the same “SMS Link Sent” message even when entered after the username @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx. 

Per newspaper policy, The CW reached out to the “Concerned Student” in order to verify their identity before publication.  

The “student” responded and identified themselves as a current junior at the University, providing a first and last name. They stated they desired anonymity for fear of retribution from Suttles. However, The Crimson White was able to verify that no student by the name they provided is listed in the UA directory.  

Upon request, the source then shared a Crimson email address and a screenshot of an ACT Card to prove their identity. The CW found the provided Crimson email was fake after an attempt to contact the email failed due to the address not existing. Furthermore, the ACT Card screenshot was falsified using an image of a person unaffiliated with the University, which The CW verified through a reverse image search. 

At the time of publication, the identity of “Concerned Student” is unknown. It is unclear how they obtained a screenshot from the Dobbs campaign, and it is unclear if the comments supposedly directed at Schmitt are authentic.  

Election Violations 

On the night of Feb. 22, Suttles reached out to The Crimson White and revealed he had received two violation complaints from the Elections Board earlier that day. Carrye Ann Rainer, the current SGA director of engagement and a member of the executive cabinet, filed the complaints.  

Both complaints were for alleged violations of campaign ethics and election fraud; one complaint references comments directed at Schmitt and the other focuses on Dobbs. According to the Elections Manual, a proven violation of campaign ethics and election fraud are both major violations worth nine infraction points each. The Elections Board can convene to consider disqualification of a candidate if a candidate is convicted of a major violation or if a candidate accumulates 12 infraction points. 

Rainer initially said via email that she submitted the complaints on behalf of SGA presidential candidate Collier Dobbs’ campaign.  Dobbs’ campaign manager Meghan Haran denied the campaign had any knowledge of the violation complaint. 

“Carrye Anne Rainer is in no way connected to the Dobbs campaign,” Haran said. “I would like to go on the record and say that [Rainer’s claim on acting on behalf of Dobbs’ campaign] is false, because me nor Collier or any of the rest of his Top Five were aware of this.” 

Rainer was also the complainant in a minor violation levied against Suttles’ campaign for early campaigning on Feb. 5. 

Rainer told The CW on Feb. 23 that she received the information in her complaint from an anonymous source. When The CW asked if her anonymous source was also [email protected], Rainer said “Yes, I believe that is the email,” and did not share any evidence that verified this statement. Rainer said she “used the same methods [as detailed in the email] to confirm that it was in fact linked to Jordan Suttles phone number,” prior to filing a complaint with the Elections Board.  

Rainer later said she was not affiliated with Dobbs’ team after The CW spoke to his campaign.  

It has been brought to my attention that my name might be used in the article, and I wanted to make it clear that I am not affiliated with Collier [Dobbs’] campaign team, and I wanted to make sure you have your story right so people can read the truth,” Rainer said. “The information I provided to the Elections Board was sent to me anonymously, and I believed it was worthy of further examination from the Elections Board.” 

First meeting with Suttles and Subramani 

After informing The CW of the complaints on Feb. 22, Suttles and Subramani both sent over photos and screen recordings that they said showed Suttles’ phone number wasn’t connected to the account. 

A reporter for The CW first met in person with Suttles and Subramani on Feb. 23. Suttles showed the reporter his attempt to reset the anonymous Instagram account using his phone number as outlined by Rainer and the “Concerned Student.” While the “SMS Link Sent” message did pop up, no login code was sent to his phone. However, when he repeated the process with his personal Instagram account, the “SMS Link Sent” message appeared and a log in code was sent to his text messages, allowing him to successfully log in. The CW confirmed the phone’s number and the number linked to Suttles’ personal account were the same.

CW / Ainsley Platt

During this meeting, Suttles said the allegations levied against him were false, and the comments were “something I would never say.” 

“Everything that I had provided to the SGA Elections Board is evidence that this wasn’t me,” Suttles said. “Kindness is my virtue. … I’m worried about campaigning, I’m worried about ordering cupcakes for my event on Monday, I had a 12-page paper due that same night for one of my classes — this is not something I’m going to waste time on doing. I’m here to win this election, I’m not here to tear somebody down.” 

He added that much of the proof he provided to The CW, he provided to the Elections Board as well. 

Courtesy of Jordan Suttles

“This whole week I’ve just been so stressed out and there has just been a whirlwind of emotions honestly, because I’m getting so much support from all these people but then at the same time, I feel like I’m almost being targeted, which I don’t know why,” Suttles said. 

Suttles and Subramani said the complainant, Rainer, always views both of their Instagram stories despite not following either of them. Suttles said Rainer is often one of the first people to view his stories. Suttles and Subramani provided The CW with screenshots showing Rainer’s Instagram account in the list of viewers for multiple stories, along with screenshots showing that Rainer does not follow either of them. 

After this meeting, a CW reporter attempted to recreate the log in process used in the “Concerned Student” email again, this time on a computer, to see if the results would be the same before publication. Unlike when attempts were made on a mobile phone, Instagram showed the email address, partially redacted — f***********9@i*****.com — that was linked to the anonymous account. On mobile devices, it only showed the first letter of the email’s domain. 

After rewatching one of the videos sent by Subramani on Feb. 22, The CW noticed an email whose first and last character, along with the first letter of the email domain, matched the redacted email address linked to the anonymous Instagram account.

Second meeting with Suttles and Subramani 

After confirming the partial match between the email linked to the anonymous Instagram and the email seen in the video sent by Subramani, The CW asked to meet with Suttles and Subramani in-person again. 

Subramani initially said “I don’t know anything,” when asked what she knew about the email seen in the video sent by her. After being shown the video she sent The CW, she said, “I don’t remember it because I’m not even logged into that email anywhere on my phone.” 

Subramani said the iCloud email account was one she used around the time she was in 6th grade, and that she hadn’t used the account in a while.  

The CW asked to look at Subramani’s phone in order to confirm the veracity of her statements and discovered that Subramani had been logged into the @hgfdfyhhbbvccxx Instagram account, alongside her personal and finsta accounts. Subramani denied any knowledge of the account.

CW / Ainsley Platt

After inspecting the anonymous account’s settings, The CW was able to confirm that the email seen in the video sent by Subramani on Feb. 22 was indeed the email that the anonymous account was registered to. Additionally, The CW also confirmed that the phone number registered was not Suttles’ cell phone number. When the number was called, an automated message said it was a Google Voice number.

CW / Ainsley Platt


Subramani said the phone number might have belonged to a friend of hers who was visiting from out of town, and they might have created the account when using her phone. The Crimson White was unable to confirm who created the Google Voice number. Suttles denied any knowledge of Subramani’s iCloud email and said he had never seen the email before. 

To further verify, The CW asked Subramani to enter the iCloud email into the “Forgot Password” prompt to see if her email would receive the log in link — it did. Subramani remained adamant that she did not create the account. 

CW / Ainsley Platt

“I know nothing about this, I did not have any link to that account, and I would never post anything like that personally,” Subramani said. “I know Jordan wouldn’t either. I know nothing about this account.” 

On Feb. 25, Suttles posted a public Instagram statement following publication of this story by The Crimson White that said he had relieved Subramani of her duties as his campaign manager.

While reporters included much of the photographic and video evidence gathered in this investigation, technical restraints made it challenging to redact identifying information in certain materials.

Bhavana Ravala contributed to this article.