Spectral Spector Twitterer admits hoax
River Deep, Mountain Ha!
The highly entertaining Twitter account purporting to be from Phil Spector has been revealed by its unidentified owner to be one of those naughty internet hoaxes.
The anonymous - and really rather amusing - author revealed the jape with a tweet at 1pm GMT, confessing "I am NOT Phil SPector. I made this account as a joke. Befriending a cockroach? c'mon folks... even Phil's not that crazy."
Well, we'd buy it, frankly - indeed the Reg took out a few credulity payments on it yesterday. Let the record show, however, that while we voiced a small note of scepticism (and confined ourselves to Bootnotes, the newspaper at the bottom of the vulture's cage), the greater portion of the face-egg must go to the Telegraph and indie news bastion NME.com among others who offered no such flimsy arse-coverage in their reports.
'Phil' went on to thank his followers and say that the whole thing had been meant as "a giggle", but also to point out, quite reasonably, that there is a lesson here:
Twitter you need to start doing something to combat fake accounts. If I was a malicious person I could have caused damage.
Twitter has proved a fertile ground indeed for the often carefully crafted fake profile. An eerily convincing Jade Goody feed ran for some days after it was reported that her cancer was terminal. Peep Show actor David Mitchell was obliged to clear up some confusion after an account was run in his name, and The Thick Of It writer Armando Ianucci found himself having to join when the same happened to him.
'Phil' finally signed off with:
Have a great day all and I hope I managed to raise a smile for some people. Life's too short for depressing news all the time. Bye from me..
This is my final final final tweet as Phil. Apologies if I caused any offence to anyone at any time. It was never intended. Bye everyone.
But, true to the Twitter ethos, he was still exchanging cheery tweets with followers at time of publication. See - you really can't believe everything you read on the internet... ®
Hoax gets my thumbs up :)
Well Mr not Phil, I liked your approach to it all. Life is too short for all the crap it throws at us and I'm glad some people still have a sense of humor!
If people who read Twitter really are stupid enough that someone posting as <insert celebrity name here> is believed to be that person to the point where damage can be caused then they really are twits.
"Twitter you need to start doing something to combat fake accounts. If I was a malicious person I could have caused damage."
Bollocks! Just because someone pretends they are someone on the internet doesn't mean they are -- after all, I'm fictional for fuck's sake.
As a long-time user of the internet I don't buy all this Web 2.0 business -- but I'm sure it's fun for those involved. However, users seem to have forgotten the fact you work on the assumption that nobody is who they say they are on the internet unless you know otherwise.
They really need to...
Stop worrying about what Twatter does, and have the people from the media who actually believed it was genuine taken away by people in white coats.
When it comes to simple facts like where a person's web site is the media should be a trusted source. This means that the media must in turn ensure that it gets its information for whether it is genuine from a trusted source. The twatter feed is not a trusted source.
In summary, the reason this hoax got so big isn't because of Twatter... it's because of the twats at the media who didn't voice any skepticism at all. Even a "flimsy arse covering statement" would give people something to think about.
Why haven't I seen anyone calling this certain web 2.0 microblog service Twatter before? Surely it's pretty obvious?