Fake Twitter accounts

Elections tend to bring out the satire and mocking, and in Australia it is no different.

Some pontificating self-important tosspots think that fake Twitter accounts are terrible. Some are, but most are funny. How anyone spends time running a fake account is beyond me.

One guy who now lectures in journalism explains why he set up a fake politician Twitter character.

In the online world you can be whoever you want to be.

Take Twitter, full of fakes and perfectly suited to making fun of our politicians.  Political satire is an important part of any healthy democracy so as the election campaign rolls on we can only hope our newsfeeds fill with fakery and pointed fun.

One of the best fakes in recent years was a legendary Twitter account that paid homage to former Family First Senator for Victoria, Stephen Fielding.

The man behind @FakeFielding was Scott Bridges, now a lecturer in journalism at the University of Canberra.

His choice to prank the senator who once arrived at parliament dressed as a beer bottle was less a question of why choose Stephen Fielding, and more a question of why not?  

‘He is just a parody magnet. His personality—the way he acted inside and outside of parliament—was crying out for satire I think. I was not personally a fan of his politics but I think it was just his character that turned him into such a good Twitter fake.’

At first Bridges registered his account @Senator Fielding, a handle which survived for a couple of months before he received a notice from Twitter. They had received a complaint about impersonation and suggested a name change to @FakeFielding.

‘[A]nyone who read the @Senator Fielding feed would have known it was a parody rather than impersonation, but the terms of service of Twitter requires you to have it right up there and obvious,’ Bridges says.

Bridges wanted to build the character of @FakeFielding into a hapless, bumbling incompetent, to offer satirical balance to some of the strong personalities we see in politics.

‘One of the running gags on the @FakeFielding account was that Steve would forget his little lunch when he went to parliament or had trouble unbuttoning his shirt and had to ask his wife to help him. He was a helpless, childlike character, which was just plausible enough I guess.’

Who are our best Fake Twitter accounts?

Fake Dr Drash seems to have run out of puff. The last tweet was on 9 Jul to me.

Fake Gerry Brownlee isn’t really that funny, but is still going strong.

I’m not sure Alasdair Thompson’s Twitter is fake, all it ver does is pimp a new book coming out on Oct 2 and tweet about periods and tampons.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.