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.

The controversial '@PeterCollinsRTE' tweet

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.

Shortly after, a second Peter Collins account appeared. Then the fake account explained which was real

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?

@PeterCollinsRTE in quieter times
Though it wasn't always dull

Published by Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and tweeter, yet still finds himself underemployed. Go figure.