How do you verify something that is fake? How do you verify an impostor? You can’t say, ‘yup, that is the real fake McCoy, the genuine impostor article, the real counterfeit deal.’ How can you verify that the fake Steve Jobs is really the Fake Steve Jobs? If there is one Fake Steve Jobs, can there be a Real Fake Steve Jobs?
Twitter recently launched Verified Account to verify the identity of Twitter users. So, if you ever wondered if Perez Hilton was related to Paris, Niki, and Kathy Hilton then you can rest assured because Twitter has done extensive background checks to verify his identity. I thought Perez Hilton was Mario Armando Lavandeira but that Twitter account has not been verified.
The question is, is fake online identity theft such a problem as real life identity theft? Twitter thinks so. If you are like me, you have had your online handle stolen from you. You think you are the only IHeartPonies76 on social networking sites but find yourself disappointed when you join a new site and find that that user name is already taken, so you settle ILikePuppiesToo2009. Well, this is is the problem that Tony LaRussa had when he was ‘impersonated’ on Twitter. LaRussa sued and Twitter responded by suspending the account, all because people thought the real Tony LaRussa? Did people really think that the real LaRussa would post tweets like the following…
Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher.
Instead of verifying accounts, Twitter should verify satire! I mean, which of my 10 online identities will Twitter verify first?