Spoof accounts are nothing new on twitter. From @OsamaBinLaden and @Jesus to the cast of Spooks, the spoof account is a part of the experience. Ireland is no exception, as accounts like @CardinalBrady or @Madam_Editor show.
Less common than the “spoof” is the “fake”. While the spoof is clearly a take-off, fakes look and feel real.
Perhaps the most notorious Irish example is @McGuinness4Pres. Oddly, the fake account name sounds more “official” than @Martin4Prez2011, the account set up by Sinn Fein during the recent presidential election.
Which brings us to Peter Collins.
Collins is one of those vaguely familiar RTÉ faces, the kind of guy who ends up as a tiebreaker in the pub quiz picture round.
@PeterCollinsRTE caused a bit of a twitter row earlier this week. This morning, Collins spoke to Marian Finucane about how a fake account was set up in his name.
Most twitter observers are mystified by the incident. Why would a fake tweet anodyne observations about Formula 1 and soccer before causing a row with an unfunny tweet about Travellers? How did a fake get added to twitter lists compiled by RTÉ staff? And why would a fake account delete most of its history?