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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 8, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

    Twitter crackdown

    Ciara O'Brien

    Celebrity impersonators on Twitter – your days are numbered. The site’s bosses have decided enough is enough and are clamping down with a new Verified Accounts scheme.

    According to Twitter’s own blog:

    “The experiment will begin with public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation. We hope to verify more accounts in the future but due to the resources required, verification will begin only with a small set.”

    The list of those who have been spoofed on Twitter is growing all the time. The Dalai Lama, Phil Spector, Kanye West (who was not amused in the slightest), Bill Gates, designer Karl Lagerfeld (who has a fan tweeting his quotes from interviews), Emma Watson and Ben Stiller have all had fake accounts set up in their name. And there are many more.

    Even Heather Mills had fakers – according to her – forcing her to join up to stop them. A quick look at her Twitter account reveals she is only following 10 people, has less than 3,000 followers (a long way to go before she matches Stephen Fry’s popularity then) and mostly tweets about vegan issues. And Britain’s Got Talent. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed. After saying on her website:

    “Of course I promise to try not to be too controversial but I can really only be me, and in all honesty I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t tell it exactly like it is. ”

    I thought we’d at least get more than the odd reference to someone I’ve never heard of. Where’s the controversy, Heather?

    I don’t get Twitter fakes to be honest. I can barely muster the effort the update my own feed, let alone create an entirely bogus one for a celebrity I’ve never met. Lives – get them.

    But anyway. Celebrities can sleep safe in their beds knowing their Twitter identity will be safe.I’m sure they’re only delighted.