Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The story behind Twitter's Steve Colbert

Last week, I received an email saying that StephenTColbert was following me on Twitter. Following being the sincerest form of social media flattery, I followed him back. Of course, I was not alone. Colbert was following 10,000 people and being followed by about 5,000. But was Colbert real? I did wonder. Not that I pictured him tweeting away all day, but figured that it was possible that Comedy Central had embarked on some Twitter-based promotional campaign. And some of the tweets certainly sounded legit: "Like any good newsman, I believe that if you're not scared, I'm not doing my job." "Move over Oprah, tonight every member of the Colbert Nation receives a priceless gift... the Truth." Credible enough. Comedy Central issued a denial, but was that just part of the joke? Then, last night, this: "Question to Twitter: Shall I continue this farce or retire the account?" OK, so it wasn't Steve Colbert. Whoever did impersonate Colbert, posted a lengthy explanation here. including how the post from one believer, titled, "Stephen Colbert watches Diggnation!” made it to Digg's front page. The fake Colbert has symbolically handed the account over to the real one. Would be cool, if he, or some other worthy personality actually did use Twitter, but not sure we're there yet.

1 comment:

Brian Morrissey said...

I got the Colbert follow too. It didn't strike me as right. But there's an interesting question there of social media cybersquatting/impersonation. Rubel pointed out that somebody's taken barackobama on friendfeed.