Click here for the article as it appears on EYE WEEKLY’s official website. Originally published July 16, 2010.
With a notable part of the mayoral race playing out over the Twittersphere — enough to warrant Spacing’s analysis of the various candidates’ social media presence — it’s important to note that all is not as it seems the land of 140 characters. Some people are even using the internet to pretend to be something they are not (except for Joe Pantalone; no one is pretending to be the deputy mayor as far as we can tell). So, before getting into a tweet debate with Rocco Rossi over Jarvis bike lanes, make sure that you’re actually talking to the right person and not some impostor — like these deceitful @s:
This isn’t the first time a fake Rob Ford has been set up, but @Iwork4taxpayers is certainly saying what Rob Ford might well be thinking, by taking jabs at the Toronto Star controversy (some Rob Ford supporters call it a “smear campaign”) over his high school football coaching career and posting his phone number (wait, doesn’t he already do that?). The profile picture features a dude in a football beer helmet— possibly as a slightly confused reference to Ford’s outburst at a hockey game in 2006.
Faux George Smitherman, @GayFather4Mayor, is an attempted note-for-note deconstruction of the Man Who Would Be Frontrunner. While hitting on his campaign’s recent failings (second place to Ford, lost campaign manager), each post ends with “I am both Gay and a Father” — which is a pretty weak parody considering Smitherman hasn’t been playing either such card that excessively.
Sarah Thomson’s impersonator has opted for a tongue twister of a Twitter handle: @OTnosmohT. This is probably the most observant parody for its reference to Thomson’s recent tweeting of a radio appearance. The rest of the posts attack her business acumen and her publication, Women’s Post. The profile picture, like the name, is an upside version of Thomson’s trademark hand-under-chin glamshot.
Finally, Twitter bites the hand that feeds it with @theotherbaldguy (a.k.a., the fake Rocco Rossi). While this version of Rossi lacks the Reagan-vs.-Berlin Wall rhetoric of the real deal (Rossi vs. Jarvis Bike Lane: “When I am elected mayor I will paint over these lines and I will get Torontonians moving again.”) it occasionally hits the nail right on the head, especially when it comes to meta-social media: “If you don’t retweet this, my twitter minions will. Ha!”
Much like the real candidates, the fake ones aren’t inspiring us either.