Novelty Twitter Accounts

Novelty Twitter Accounts

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Updated Jan 29, 2013 at 01:58PM EST by Brad.

Added Apr 19, 2010 at 04:12PM EDT by Watcher.

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About

Novelty Twitter Accounts are parody profiles on the social networking site Twitter that are meant to impersonate or lampoon a wide range of subjects, from celebrities and public figures to corporations and inanimate objects. Since the launch of the microblogging service in March 2006, novelty Twitter accounts have grown into a genre of web-based performance art, showcasing the creator’s comedy writing or commentaries on current events.

Origin

The earliest known parody Twitter account was the “Fake Steve Jobs” profile created on January 26th, 2007, which humorously mocked the former CEO of Apple Inc Steve Jobs. As of October 18th, 2012, the profile has accumulated over 36,300 followers but has not published a tweet since July 31st, 2010.


Spread

On October 7th, 2008, the science fiction blog io9[16] published a round-up of notable parody Twitter feeds in a post titled “Twitter Me This: Our Favorite Fake Twitter Feeds,” highlighting the film director Michael Bay and fictional characters like Captain Picard and Darth Vader among many others. On February 15th, 2009, PC World[17] published a post titled “15 Fake and Funny Twitter Accounts,” which listed several Twitter feeds mocking various celebrities, including the actors Chuck Norris, Nick Nolte and William Shatner. On June 27th, 2010, The Daily Mail mistakenly reported that Steve Jobs had announced Apple may recall the iPhone 4, citing a tweet by the now defunct fake Twitter account @ceoSteveJobs. The story was initially picked up by other news media outlets, including The Guardian,[18]CNET,[19] Geekosystem[20] and The Next Web,[21] before being retracted after the discovery of the mistake.



On May 19th, 2010, the account BPGlobalPR[1] was created by comedian Josh Simpson in response to the British oil company BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, assuming the perspective of a character named Terry, a fictional member of a PR team for the multinational oil and gas company BP. The account was used to satirize the company’s focus on public relations rather than damage control and to channel people’s frustration with its handling of the disaster. After being retweeted by Roger Ebert, @BPGlobalPR gained national attention from The New York Times[3], Advertising Age[4], and the Los Angeles Times[5] as well as inspiring several other “Global PR” accounts, such as UNGlobalPR[8], IsraelGlobalPR[9], and USAGlobalPR.[10]




On November 11th, 2011, the Internet culture blog Slacktory[13] published a post titled “The Fourteen Best Novelty Twitter Feeds,” which included several photoshopped screenshots of novelty Twitter accounts that did not exist. On March 9th, 2012, the viral content site BuzzFeed[12] reported that Twitter had mistakenly verified the fake Twitter @hoobastank_band[23] as the official account for the rock band Hoobastank. On October 4th, The Atlantic[14] published an article titled “What’s the Half-Life of Satire in the Age of Twitter?”, noting that many satirical Twitter accounts are popular for only a short amount of time. On the following day, New York Magazine[11] published an article titled “Twitter Parody Accounts: Where Are They Now?”, which revisited the status of several Twitter accounts that were no longer culturally relevant. On October 19th, the Internet humor site Jest[12] released a video titled “Twitter Parody Political Account Graveyard,” which featured a variety of Twitter parody accounts that had fallen out of popularity (shown below).



Twitter Verification

On June 6th, 2009, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced on the official company’s official blog[25] that they would be launching a verification service to confirm the identity of “public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation.” Verified accounts are identified by a white checkmark on a blue background, which is placed next to the Twitter user’s name on their profile page (shown below).



Notable Examples

Celebrities

Fictional Characters

Organizations

Others

External References

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