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Your Twitter account is your own online persona. You can choose how much or how little you want to give away, all within 140 character sound bite.
From the interests you have to the places you’ve been, you’re largely in control of how you are perceived online.
So what if there was another you? Someone who looked like you, sounded like you – perhaps even funnier than you! How would you react?
Well Twitter has some pretty straight-forward rules about impersonating, in essence impersonation is a violation of the ‘Twitter rules’.
Indeed, Twitter has shut down a fair few fake accounts in the past, from fake politicians and fake computer game designers to fake accounts claiming to be the daughter of the recently appointed manager of Manchester United’s football team.
However, the rules around parody accounts are slightly more relaxed. It looks like Twitter has a humorous side, as long as you obey by a few rules.
The username should not be the exact name of the subject of the parody. You should distinguish the account with a qualifier such as “not,” “fake,” or “fan.” So you’re OK, @NotTildaSwinton
The profile name should not list the exact name of the subject without some other distinguishing word, such as “not,” “fake,” or “fan.” Got it in one, @notzuckerberg
The bio should include a statement to distinguish it from the real identity, such as “This is a parody,” “This is a fan page”. Bravo, @DavidBeckhamWeb
Here are a few of our favourite parody Twitter accounts for nothing more than your amusement:
Not surprisingly, some of the most popular parody accounts are created using fantasy personas, such as fictional film or television characters that we know and grow to love or love to hate.
The Harry Potter villain, ‘he who shall not be named’, has over 2 million followers on Twitter, yet follows and interacts with noone, perhaps living up to the unfriendly persona of the JK Rowling character.
So why are so many followers listening to what ‘The Dark Lord’ has to say?
Well it could be down to tongue-in-cheek posts such as this:
The Royals are a family likened to Marmite – you either love them or hate them.
Perhaps appropriately then, The Windsors do not have official individual Twitter accounts (who knows what trouble Harry would land himself in if they did – we know he doesn’t have much luck when it comes to camera phones.).
Although the real Prince Harry of Wales doesn’t have a Twitter presence, well unless you count the state-run @ClarenceHouse account for official updates, there are of course several parody Twitter accounts of the Prince.
Harry, what would Grandma say? Well HRH The Queen doesn’t have a Twitter account. That’s probably not a total shock, but being blue blooded doesn’t protect you from the parody pirates.
@Queen_UK has over 1,000,000 followers on Twitter, the highest number of followers for any parody or fan account dedicated to the Royals.
The popularity of the account has lead to the creator writing for The Sunday Times Online, Tatler and The London Evening Standard, not to mention a best-selling book published worldwide and a ‘Gin O’Clock’ mobile app providing the user with, apparently The Queen’s favourite tipple, gin cocktail recipes.
So how does @Queen_UK communicate with ones public?
Tweets range from political:
To Royal Family related:
And the downright silly:
Lastly one of the most popular parody accounts on Twitter, with over 2,000,000 followers, is that of @FillWerrell. A parody account of the actor Will Ferrell the tweets range from childish to occasionally pretty crude ;)
However this parody account often comes under fire for trolling and attempting to provoke reaction from his 2 millions followers.
Real or not, these parody accounts often take on the more comical side to the original people or characters we’ve become accustomed to.
Perhaps this is why Twitter has a sense of humour when it comes to parody accounts, so long as its not impersonation, it’s ok. If there was a funnier version of you out there in the Twittersphere, would you mind?