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Fake Twitter accounts and the American politician: A love story

As politicians struggle to harness the power of social media, mischievous Internet denizens are taking advantage what might be one of the medium's most alluring qualities -- tongue-in-cheek mimicry.

Some politicians do a good job of creating humorous tweets all on their own, but fake Twitter accounts riff on the politicians on a nonstop basis.

Since the 2008 presidential election, inventive weirdos have been using Twitter to create exaggerated personas around political household names. Even more entertaining is that some of these accounts are years old and are still updated, usually serving no purpose other than to serve up a healthy dose of schadenfreude.

You can find parody accounts of virtually anyone from anywhere: Mao Zedong, Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin are all around if foreign policy (or time travel) is your thing, but here are a few of our own national treasures:

  • fakeobama.
  • Since the president is credited as the first politician to really do anything useful with social media, it's little surprise that he's inspired a slew of creative impostors. (And because fake Twitter is fun for the whole first family, check out fakemichelle .)

    michelle is trying to get me to put my comic book collection on ebay. says it'll clear up space in the lincoln bedroom.less than a minute ago via Digsby

  • zombama. So, yeah, this exists:

  • FakeSarahPalin. If you tell the public you're actually a lot like William Shakespeare, prepare for difficulty when trying to refudiate whatever spills out onto feeds like this one:


  • MayorEmanuel. The [newly] former White House chief of staff, current candidate for Chicago mayor and unofficial patron saint of potty mouths everywhere is perfect for a fake account, but definitely NSFW. Hilarious, but you've been warned.(There's also fakerahmemanuel if the first one didn't squeeze in enough f-bombs.)

This should be enough Twitter-centric nonsense to last you through lunchtime, but because I can't search for fake Twitter accounts all day -- or can I? -- let me know if there are any other BlogPost-worthy fakers out there floating around in the 140-character-or-less universe using the hashtag #twitterpols. Better yet, if you operate one of these accounts, be sure to say hello @washingtonpost.

Update! Very funny submissions from @districtofaris, @chrisargyris, @joshualyman and @frenchtwistDC:

  • goppledge.

    We pledge to never let #Facebook go down. Ever.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

  • M_Ahmadinejad

    Help! Trying to explain "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" to Ayatollah and the Clerics. Which one is the skank again?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

  • queen_uk.

    One can confirm that Prince Edward has not been snatched by a Malaysian Monkey.less than a minute ago via web

  • FentyDC.

    I am not crying!! I have Neutrogena moisturizer in my eye!less than a minute ago via web

By Katie Rogers  | October 7, 2010; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Your Take  
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There are also many, many West Wing characters online. The best, and most popular, are @joshualyman @donnalyman and of course @Pres_Bartlet. I don't know if that counts, but it's a lot of fun!

Posted by: purpleclaire | October 7, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Nearly the entire cast of West Wing is there, and whoever is behind the accounts sounds amazingly like the originals. More than clever, and, considering we're in a midterm election season, VERY timely. (Still waiting for Nancy McNally to show up!)

Posted by: LBinVA | October 7, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

all journalists should follow the fake AP style guide--it's great.

Posted by: ks15 | October 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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