This post is more on a personal level than news or blog posts, hence why it’s not categorised as either.
Twitter had always been a place of diverse and interesting people. From celebrities to people with truly inspirational stories, there are a whole host of people on there who make the service highly appealing. I however found out this week that Twitter can be quite the reverse of appealing and inspirational.
For those of you who haven’t been following the events via Twitter, here’s what happened.
This week, we were alerted to some people (or as it transpires, one person) on Twitter pretending to be members of the Royal Family. We took the liberty of alerting our followers that these accounts were impersonations and not genuine. Twitter’s policy is that ‘parody accounts’ can exist providing they’re clearly labelled as such; the accounts in question clearly tried to manifest themselves as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Once I tweeted this warning, the accounts were quick to respond that they were the genuine article and eventually took to protecting their tweets in an attempt to stop discovery and, as I later discovered, to tweet maligned statements of how ‘Royal Central can’t be real because they don’t have Twitter’s blue tick’.
Later, the accounts became unprotected again and I was able to look back through these tweets to see what the accounts said about us. It included tweets trying to say that we were the ones who were impersonating the Royal Family, even up to now I’m not sure how they drew to that conclusion.
Anyway, as is usual (I’m told) with fake accounts, they were quick to order their followers to block us and to ‘report us’. Again, still not sure to this point what we were being reported for, though nothing came of it – this was their attempt to stop their followers (of which they have quite a few, which was part of the issue with these fake accounts) from hearing the truth about these accounts.
Even up to now, thousands of people who are following these accounts are under the impression that it is genuinely the Royal Family operating these accounts and because of the kinds of things they tweet, this is highly dangerous and poisonous to the world of royal reporting and also some of the tweets they come out with are totally contrary to common decency. People are getting hurt because they’re being misinformed and misguided by these accounts.
We have contacted the Royal Household who tell us that the details of this have been forwarded to the web team. I will keep this article updated with any developments.
UPDATE 14/8/13 22:00 - We’ve done it. The offending accounts have now either been suspended by Twitter or have been deleted. Some people still don’t seem to get it though and seemingly blame us for the account suspension, still believing it was genuinely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Perhaps in time they will realise the truth behind these accounts but for now, I’m just happy that the damage has been stopped and that this person (and it was a single person) has been prevented from doing any more damage.