YouTube Roleplay Accounts
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YouTube Roleplay Accounts are ad hoc user profiles that assume the voice of a well-known individual or established fictional character on the popular video-sharing community. Similar to Tumblr's Ask Blogs and Twitter's Novelty Accounts, they are prominently used by members of online fandom communities, many of whom interact with each other through comments and replies in YouTube video pages.
These types of accounts may have been inspired by deviantART's Plz Accounts, which utilize the site's avatar system to recreate conversations between fictional characters. As early as 2009, people began to create YouTube accounts for fictional characters using the prefix "Imma" to denote them as being novelty accounts. One of the first of these, ImmaVegeta, was created on March 10th, 2009 and has gained more than 23,000 subscribers. In addition to commenting in character, ImmaVegeta has uploaded nearly 1,500 videos including recut footage from Dragon Ball Z episodes as vlogs from the character during which they interact with other YouTubers or comment on YouTube happenings as well as unedited clips from the anime.
In June 2011, a Yahoo! Answers question was asked about the legality of these accounts. That November, an instructional guide to making Imma accounts was posted on wikiHow. In January 2012, the Imma Land Wiki launched as a hub site for these in-character accounts. After YouTube began showing full names and, later on, profile pictures in the comments in mid-2012 after linking accounts with Google+ profiles, the number of these parody accounts increased, including ones for real people who are popular online including Chuck Norris (shown below, left) and historical figures like Adolf Hitler (shown below, right).
Additionally, after comment replies were introduced, multiple accounts contained within a single fandom began interacting with each other, including characters from Lord of the Rings and Halo In May 2013, a member of the SMW Central forums reported seeing Portal-related accounts commenting on fan videos about the game.
In Message Boards
This practice is also found on message boards where people will make a novelty account based on the topic or fandom that the message board is about. One of the earliest archived examples appeared on October 10th, 2011, when an account named SiriVoiceAssistant posted on the Apple enthusiast forum iFans, asking other posters if they needed any assistance. The account continued to ask questions and perform virtual tasks for commenters, taking on the typing style of Siri.
Various parody accounts mocking Redditors, radical feminists, fat activists, neckbeards and fedora wearers often comment on YouTube with polarizing or ignorant statements meant to incite a flamewar. On June 11th, 2014, the /r/RedditArmie subreddit was launched, featuring discussions related to YouTube comment trolling and screenshots of notable examples (shown below).
On September 3rd, the "Berta Lovejoy" YouTube account was created, which typically leaves flamebait comments from the perspective of a feminist extremist on trending videos (shown below).
Novelty Twitter Accounts
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. Often considered a web-based performance art, parody accounts have been created since as early as January 2007, when Fake Steve Jobs began humorously mocking the late CEO of Apple.
lol! watching desperate housewives on apple tv!— Fake Steve Jobs (@_FakeSteveJobs) January 27, 2007
Twitter Reenactments are text-base simulations of either real events or fictional stories that typically use one or more novelty accounts to publish "real-time" status updates that correspond with the chronological timeline of the original event. The first one of these projects was created by PhD students at Utah State University, who reenacted the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg over the course of several weeks in April 2009.
I'm announcing to the country that news from Army of the Potomac is such as to cover that army with the highest honor.— Abraham Lincoln (@Pres_Lincoln) July 4, 2009
Tumblr Ask Blogs
Tumblr Ask Blogs are interactive roleplay blogs that are run from the perspective of fictional characters. Readers are encouraged to ask questions of the roleplayer, who answers with either text, artwork or photos of themselves in cosplay in the first-person narrative. One of the first of these blogs was launched on April 23rd, 2011, allowing readers to ask questions of any character from the webcomic Homestuck.
 YouTube – ImmaVegeta
 Yahoo! Answers – Can i make an imma account on youtube?
 wikiHow – How to Make an Imma Meme Account on Youtube
 SMW Center – People on YouTube pretending to be fictional characters or celebrities
 iFans – Hello. I am Siri
 Reddit – /r/RedditArmie
 YouTube – Berta Lovejoy
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Dec 22, 2014 at 03:35PM EST
Dec 23, 2014 at 04:01PM EST
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