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The Ups and Downs of Being a Twitter Fraudster 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has a feature examining the psychology and motivation of people who create fake or parody Twitter accounts. The feature reveals how people behind some of the most popular parodies — such as @MrsStephenFry — have gone on to earn commercial success, while others are altogether more sinister. The man behind @Lord_Credo managed to convince many that he was a personal adviser to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and wormed his way into political circles. He allegedly conned some out of money, took advantage of the hospitality of others, and left the professional reputation of at least one 'in tatters.' He even fabricated a malignant brain tumor, leaving one young member of the group 'utterly distraught.'"
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The Ups and Downs of Being a Twitter Fraudster

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  • by webanish (1045264) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:14PM (#38336926) Journal
    ...you don't sign each other's gpg keys!
  • Fraudsters? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Talence (4962) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:23PM (#38336986) Homepage

    Uhm, it doesn't seem very fair to lump actual fraudsters in the same group as relatively innocent parodists. Once you start making people part with their money, it's a completely different situation.

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      I plan to plan Dutch course in The Hague [taaltaal.nl]

      Err, what?

      Ok, it's a tagline but it's more entertaining than the story anyway.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Well to be honest, this is /. where people can't tell the difference between someone being a troll, and someone being funny.

    • Then it's a public service.

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Uhm, it doesn't seem very fair to lump actual fraudsters in the same group as relatively innocent parodists. Once you start making people part with their money, it's a completely different situation.

      One guy apparently scammed his former gf for 15k. That's not parody.

      On a more remarkable note ...

      He even fabricated a malignant brain tumor

      Did he submit the plans so other makers can copy it [makezine.com]?

      • by Uhyve (2143088)
        That's the point. It seems weird that the article (or just the summary, I don't care enough to read the article) is lumping parodies in with actual fraudsters (such as the one you pointed out).
        • by crossmr (957846)

          If it's not obviously a parody, it's fraud.

          • by Hentai (165906)

            Poe's law makes this distinction pragmatically impossible.

          • by Uhyve (2143088)
            Man, a world without subtle humor, that must be a sad place to live in. And now I just realized that you may be parodying the writers of the original article... hmmm...
            • by crossmr (957846)

              There is a difference between subtle humour and trying to impersonate an individual, even if you think it is a joke.

    • Re:Fraudsters? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Sunday December 11, 2011 @06:30PM (#38338196)

      Mind you, it's very much possible to be a parodist and make someone part with their money (such as by buying your wonderful book on a certain noodly heavenly father). It's really a matter of whether or not you do it ethically.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      From the article:

      The man behind @Lord_Credo managed to convince many that he was a personal adviser to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and wormed his way into political circles.

      From the comment:

      Uhm, it doesn't seem very fair to lump actual fraudsters in the same group as relatively innocent parodists. Once you start making people part with their money...

      It also doesn't seem very fair to lump those in "political circles" with actual people.

      Remember, these are folks who probably consider themselves pa

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        They're smart enough to run the world but not smart enough to pick up the fucking phone and actually confirm before they start writing checks and getting freaked out about brain tumors?

        Smart people do not run the world. Democracy ensures that liars run the world.

  • Sigh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:33PM (#38337048) Homepage Journal

    This is why you shouldn't believe everything you read on teh interwibbles.

    Second thoughts, s/everything/anything/

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:41PM (#38337084)
    Why can't they behave like us on slashdot, where everyone is exactly who they say they are?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Why can't they behave like us on slashdot, where everyone is exactly who they say they are?

      Would have been a lot funnier if you had posted this AC

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PPH (736903)
      You forgot to check the AC box.
    • I'm on to you Chrisq, and my elite team of helicopters will be at your house shortly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For a moment I thought your reply was of epic proportions, when I misread your account name as "Christ".

    • You're modded as funny, but sometimes there's a reason to remain semi-anonymous. I signed up for Slashdot a long time ago when I didn't think twice about using my real name in online communications. When I signed up for Twitter, though, I decided to use a pseudonym. Now, I find myself under assault by someone who claims I'm the made-up identity of someone else. I could reveal my real name, but that won't really help. This person claims God told her about my "fraud". You can guess how successful presen

  • Raise your hand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by koan (80826) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @03:53PM (#38337160)

    If you're sick of the verb "tweet".

  • Lord_Credo? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 11, 2011 @04:07PM (#38337236)

    What a pity, he sounded like a guy you could believe in.

    • That is the first thing I thought. It looks like, because of his name, that he just started out as a very obvious parodyist. He was probably very surprised when people actually believed him.

    • I don't trust him. I just get the feeling he's going to turn into some flying supernatural creature and we'll need to fight with giant swords.

  • @MrsStephenFry is possibly not the best example, since it's quite possible that it is, in fact, the great Mr Fry himself. He'd never admit it of course, since that would spoil the fun.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Having seen no comments yet from anyone who's actually done this...

    I run a fake twitter feed, lampooning a guy known in several wide social circles known for his... lets say "interesting" personality. He's not exactly widely loved or widely hated (maybe polarizing though), but he can be counted on to have an unexpected viewpoint on basically anything. (It might be Aspergers, we don't know.) The actual guy doesn't seem to mind, because I take care to not say anything mean.

    The account has turned out to be a d

    • by Bucky24 (1943328)

      But it makes 80 people's lives, and mine, an iota better.

      Without making anyone else's worse. And that, I feel, is the important distinction.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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