Twitter fakers sow social media confusion

2012-10-25 00:00

FALSE Twitter profiles have become a thorn in the flesh of many sport stars, politicians and celebrities.

De Jongh Borchardt, spokesperson for Heyneke Meyer, said they had already closed several false profiles created in the Springbok coach’s name.

Borchardt said it was, however, nearly impossible to control, as three new false profiles appear for each one they close.

He said they also closed false Twitter profiles in the name of players like Jannie du Plessis and Frans Steyn, and send out regular statements to rectify false tweets.

Zak Mbhele, spokesperson for DA leader Helen Zille, said Zille had also been targeted on Twitter until the mini-blog company confirmed her real profile as the genuine one and Zille started tweeting more often.

There are more than 20 different Twitter profiles for Julius Malema, former ANC Youth League leader. One of these “Malemas” tweeted that he is considering voting for the DA in the next election.

Even the British queen is not off limits — “Elizabeth Windsor” tweeted on Saturday that she had “a hangover as big as Australia”, which was what happened when spending the night with George Michael.

Borchardt said the problem with social media was that no one had any control over it, adding that people must judge for themselves whether a profile was genuine or false.

Twitter’s user agreement does not allow users who share a name with another person to send tweets ostensibly coming from their namesake.

Anyone who breaks this rule can be prohibited from using the site again.

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