Twitter – the latest buzz that is spreading like wildfire – but as with all things that are good, there are some flaws.
In short – You get a Twitter account. You look for people on Twitter whose 140 character “micro blogs” are interesting and “follow” them. People will follow you for the same reason. That’s the very basics.
I am finding that the biggest flaw is the fake celebrity. First up is the mad fan – they use the celebs name as their own Twitter name just because they are a fan. No harm meant.
A little worse are people who use a celebs name so that people will follow them (thinking they are the real celebrity at first). That’s it – they just use the name to gain a large amount of followers..
The next level up is the person who actually “becomes” that celebrity. They read up on their lives and they look at their itineraries so they can mimic the real deal. They try to be the celebrity in question and go to some lengths to achieve this. They first set up the account and add a photo. Generally this is a picture that is found on Google – which is often the first sign that the “celebrity” is not really who they say they are.
See the picture below. I set up a fake account and then set about showing some of the tricks that are used.
As the posts are in reverse order (latest at the top) you will need to read the following list of messages from the bottom up.
They may set up several accounts just so they can become their own follower. They can then have conversations with their fake celebrity self so from the outside it looks like two people are talking. They can even use this to prove that they are the true celebrity by coming up with a cock and bull conversation. Often they use multiple accounts to bolster the story even more – or have friends in on the con.
They will often make up some event where they both met. They will use the internet or newspapers to find out what the real celebrity is doing and then say they are doing it. This can then be boosted up a notch by mentioning other celebrities who will be at the event – often just using nick names or first names so it makes it look like they are friends… yes, people do go this far. The big pay off is if the real celebrity is then photographed next to one of the people the fake celebrity mentioned. To the casual on looker it makes the fake celebs story look even more water tight.
The real devious ones will start to get a big build up of followers. These followers will then blog and discuss about how they follow this celebrity. More people read about the celebrity and follow. More people write about the celebrity… and slowly the real and the fake identities become so tangled with each other that it is hard to tell who is real.
So you could always catch them out by calling the real celebs PR… but some of these fakers use one of the oldest tricks in the book… “I told my PR people to tell anyone who asks that I don’t have a Twitter account“. Heck, I told all of my friends to not tell anyone that I am a secret millionaire….. Go on, ask them – they’ll deny it….so it must be true….
How can you ever be sure then? Well…. the celebrity only needs to post up a photo (using twitpics). A photo of themselves next to a computer with their account open in the background… a picture of themselves next to a copy of that days paper – but what ever it is, it needs to be a picture that isn’t just grabbed for the internet.
Oddly enough though, this simple solution is ignored and more and more intricate lies are spun as to why they are really the true celebrity – when out of respect for their fans and followers they could just post a photo.
@DuncanBannatyne is one of these fakes who is now even resorting to spouting words of wisdom directly out of the newspapers and internet – It’s all very sad really.
Jamie Oliver, Stephen Fry and Robert Llewellen are very open about their accounts on Twitter – and in fact they link to them from their web pages or quite openly post personal photos. These are undeniably the real deal.
There are even people out there who search out these fakes – Valebrity on Twitter is one of them – and does a good job too.
I have the greatest respect for these celebrities who are honest and open with their fellow Twitter users – and I can understand why some of them don’t understand why people keep asking for proof. The simple fact of the matter is that some people are just bogus and untrustworthy – and it is the celebrities that get it in the neck.