The Growing Problem Of Celebrity Imposters On Twitter

Twitter has been growing by leaps and bounds lately, and some people attribute the growth to the recent surge of celebrities to join the microblogging website, and the attention that has caused in the media. But is the Seth Rogen you're following on Twitter the real Seth Rogen? Websites like Valebrity try to confirm new arrivals to the social networking platform, but it's a flawed system. We even maintain a list of Writers, Directors and Actors on Twitter, but it's far from complete.  Not enough Twitter users do the research required, and many just assume that the celebrities must be real. I have seen people, that I normally consider to be incredibly smart, be duped by these imposters, when they wouldn't normally be tricked anywhere else on the internet.

Because, after all, if a guy claiming to be Seth Rogen has tens of thousands of followers and isn't disputed, he must be real... right? The confirmed-fake Christopher Walken Twitter account now has over 87,000 followers, most of which still believe he's the real deal. Sometimes you'll even see fake twitter celebrities having conversations with confirmed twitter celebrities. And if the real celebrities, who might actually be friends/acquaintances of the person in question, cant tell the difference, how should the average twitter user be expected to figure it out? There isn't a way.

Imagine the trouble someone impersonating a celebrity could cause now that they can instantly send messages to hundreds of thousands of fans/followers? Newspapers and blogs already have begun quoting people on twitter. Something really needs to be done because it is beginning to get real ugly. Twitter needs to create a verification system that would embed a badge on high profile pages ensuring users that the Twitter Celebrity is real. Twitter needs to hire someone who can communicate with publicists on a daily basis. Publicists need to get on board immediately and begin verifying and discrediting fake accounts. The key is to stop the imposters before they reach the level of tens of thousands of followers.

Disclaimer: When I say Fake Twitter celebrities, I'm not talking about some of the Twitter Celebrity parody accounts. For instance, someone posts funny tweets as Michael Bay on Twitter but advertises himself as "Fake Michael Bay." The writer provides an interesting enough satire of Bay that people follow him reguardless of that fact that he isn't real.