I Have A Twitter Impersonator! What To Do If This Happens To You
Hooray! Is that the reaction I should have? As most of you already know (and can see in the sidebar of this blog) my Twitter account is @TheDanLevy and it seems someone has taken the time to make the above account “@realDanLevy.” As you can see by the above screen shot the person who has chosen to impersonate me on Twitter with the aforementioned account has stolen my Twitter profile picture, directs people to the same personal URL as I do and claims in their bio that “I’m the real Dan Levy.” What you can also see is that they have been mirroring my tweets since the account was created (according to TweetDeck) Sun 25 Dec 2011 at 22:03. How are they mirroring my tweets? They are using a service called TwitterFeed which probably picks up the RSS feed of someone’s Twitter account and rebroadcasts it elsewhere, in this case to the impersonator’s Twitter account.
Truth be told, I’d be mostly fine with it if they weren’t doing two things:
- Being rude to my friends while appearing to be me as you can see in the tweet above (direct link here).
- Annoying my friends. They’re annoying my friends by double tweeting because every time I am in a conversation with someone, any of my tweets – including my replies – get tweeted again by this fake account. The only way around this would be to report the fake account as a spam account and block it.
What REALLY annoyed me is the fact that the person you see in the tweet above was in the middle of a stressful situation so the last thing she needed at the time was some giant jerk being rude to her.
Since I discovered this person today, I have apologized to all of my Twitter friends who this impersonator was being rude to (the above isn’t the only example).
Without any prompting whatsoever, my friends on Twitter have just been absolutely amazing. They have retweeted my messages telling people that the other account is not me, they have reported the other account as spam to Twitter, and they have just been there to talk smack about whoever the person is.
According to the Twitter Impersonation Policy this person, whoever they are, is straight up in the wrong on their actions. As such, not only have I blocked them and reported them for spam – which I encourage you to do too – but I have filled out a form referred to as the Twitter Help Center Impersonation report. I would encourage you to do the same but if you go to it and tell Twitter that you are “a friend or fan of the person being impersonated“. They will tell you, as you can see below, that “[i]n order to investigate impersonation reports, we need to be in contact with the person directly involved, or someone authorized to act on their behalf.“
I sent in my report at 7:54 PM EST so we will see how long it takes Twitter to get around to fixing this…especially with all the people who have been RTing my few tweets about it and reporting the impersonator as a spammer. Then again, it is the holiday season so it might take longer than I’d like it to…only time will tell but hey, at least I got a blog post out of it and a bit of instruction on what you can do and where to go to report impersonators of you if and when this kind of thing ever happens to you.
Sidenote: Did you know there are two ways to spell the word “impostor”? It can also be spelled “imposter.” I looked this up in numerous dictionaries and it doesn’t seem to be a UK vs US spelling of English. The word simply seems to have two spellings. Spell check seems to disagree with me on this but as I said, I have looked it up.That and my BlackBerry’s spell check prefers one spelling vs Google Chrome’s spell check which prefers the other. Weird, huh?
UPDATE 11:45pm EST:
Seems this person, whoever they are, decided to give up and fade into the night when they saw how many people were getting annoyed with their being annoying and crude. My “Twimposter” (credit for that term goes to @Fyrmedic654 via this tweet here) posted this tweet at 11:12PM EST while I was writing the blog post above.