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Twitter Fake Accounts – Funny or a Problem?

Whether you’re a tweet-er or not, I’m sure you’ve heard of the site, and if you don’t know what it is, you’ve wondered about the hype.  Twitter is a great business tool, a way for celebrities to come in close contact with their fans, and, also, another way for people to hide behind a computer screen.  What I mean by this is that with social networking, and the Internet, anyone can create a profile and pretend they are someone they’re not.  Sometimes this is used as harmless fun, other times; it is used for spamming, selling, and even harassing.  So how do you tell the difference?  Well, I decided to log on and do some research. To start, I looked at some of the funny profiles I’ve heard mentioned during conversation with friends and coworkers.  It’s true.  Yes, the fact is that Jesus has a twitter.  People have humorously stated that he seems pretty active, and when I logged on to see that he was tweeting more than I was, I wondered if this was going to become an act of judgment on his part.  Of course, I’m only kidding, but whoever made the profile for Jesus was doing it all in good fun.  The person is tweeting Bible verses, prayer, and things of the like.  I also stumbled upon some characters from the office, and the Notorious BIG, a famous rapper who is now deceased.  The funny part about it is that the person behind his mask posts funny quirky little sayings, things like “Waiting for my good friend Tupac to finish getting his manicure.”  While these profiles are all in good fun, and aren’t at all frowned upon by Twitter, there are some people who create profiles for not so fun uses.  Spam being one of the biggest.  Sometimes, spammers will create a profile with a seemingly normal name, but it turns out to be a spam page for weight loss pills or Viagra.  Some people hide their real identity, and actually will use the same name as a person as a way to become friendly “Hey, we have the same name!” and use that as a way to stalk a person.  So how do we tell who is who?  Context clues.  If you see that it’s just a person trying to be funny, putting words into a character’s mouth for the sake of laughter, you’re probably in the clear.  But if you notice a follower whom you don’t recognize, go to their profile and see what the deal is.  Who are they following?  Who is following them?  Chances are, spammers will have a significantly smaller number of followers in accordance to those they are following.  So, use your discretion as always on the Internet, and remember your sense of humor when it’s due.  Happy Tweeting!