Ewan McGregor’s Fake Twitter

9 03 2009

Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is the latest victim of the Twimposter craze.  Close to 20,000 fans have fallen for the scam  and according to social media celebrity validation site ‘Valebrity’ even Ewan’s motorcycling mate Charley Boorman confirmed that McGregor’s twitter was the real McCoy (though there is no confirmation that this was the real Charley Boorman).  

Not so it seems, this the latest in a long list of bogus celebrity social web presences. Other victims have included Eddie Izzard, Star Trek favourites Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (although he now tweets for real) and the Oscar winning Kate Winslet.  It is becoming a minefield for both the celebrity PR machines and the fans who are piling into the social social web so that they get closer to the twitterati. 

The fake McGregor, although a clever ruse, will have been an easy spot for any fellow Scot.  On the (also false) MySpace profile linked to the twitter stream Ewan apparently said  “I love motorbikes, my home Scotland, doing charity work for Unicef. Of course my wife and my wee little girls”.  “Wee little”? Oh please what kind of talk is that?





SlySpace, Fakebook and Twimposters

26 02 2009

The term cybersquatting was coined when websites first became publicy available.  People would buy domain names using company or brand names or the names of celebrities and then try to flog them back at inflated prices.  A similar thing is now happening in social networks but potentially the outcomes are far more damaging.

Individuals are signing up on facebook, twitter and across the web to the identities of celebrities, and sometimes brands too.  It costs them nothing and they are not selling the online persona back to their ‘rightful’ owners they are using them to impersonate.   For many the intentions have been harmless but not for all.  The fake Facebook account for Kate Winslett in which she apparently called her screen rival and fellow Oscar nominee Angelie  Jolie , a “fat-lipped crazy cow” amused Kate apparently but that might not always be the case.  A blog called Valebrity has taken on the task of validating celebrities on line and Jonathan Ross has appointed himself as twitter ‘star’ czar.

The act of impersonating others on twitter is also being used for political ends.  John Ransford the Chief Executive of the Local Government Association has a ‘Twimposter’ who has been actively defaming him for weeks and the leading light of the Labour new media movement Derek Draper has pointed people in the direction of a fake David Cameron.

Companies and brands should be cautious too, with the growth of the social web and the velocity at which content spreads, charlatans of  the social web may be ot there doing real harm to their business.








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