Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bye Bye Sarah!

Sarah Silverman at the Tribeca Film FestivalImage via Wikipedia

Friday afternoon, Twitter was abuzz with a new celebrity Tweeter, Sarah Silverman. Many of us started following her and chatting with her even though we all saw the signals that signaled fanjacking: mispelled names, links to unofficial websites, and suspect dialogue. Still, we were having fun.

At the same time that Sarah joined the Twitterverse, Greg Grunberg of Heroes also joined. Encouraged by his co-star Brea Grant, Greg has gotten 1167 followers from his 17 tweets.

Of course, we all were skeptical about everyone's identity. However, based on Brea's twitter activity and her cool blog, most people were convinced that she and Greg were not fake. Sarah created more skeptics.

I've written about fanjacking before regarding Mad Men, but this is different and much more serious. Fans taking control of a fictional character like Don Draper or Chewbacca are one thing. However, taking someone's identity, whether a celebrity or not, is something else.

Katja Presnal dug deep and got to the bottom of things. By analyzing the tweets and checking out the links, she uncovered the scandal. Craig Murphy also chronologs the activities of Fake Sarah. Since Sarah's real identity was discovered, the accounts were deleted and now the twitterverse is safe from impersonators. Well, obviously not. Both Katja and Craig offer great advice on how to combat fanjacking/ impersonation on Twitter in their posts:
  1. Go and get your name on Twitter RIGHT NOW, before someone takes it.
  2. Be in control of your Twitter stream.
  3. It’s always worth checking out the friends/followers of the person you are about to connect with.
  4. Take a look at the people that person connects with, do they look like the kind of people who would connect with each other?
And as for, Brea and Greg, welcome to the Twitterverse! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and find ways to really connect with your many fans out there. We're happy to have you.

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