Ah, the possibilities of social media are endless. So are the possibilities of abuse:
It’s easy to see why Twitter is so popular, if, for nothing else, the ability to follow and grief your favorite celebrity. Just ask Food Network personality, Alton Brown. Like most people with any kind of celebrity following, Brown had an active Twitter account, and because of some Internet impersonation, Brown’s previously-active Twitter account is now gone.
According to the Fancy Pants Foody blog, Brown abandoned his Twitter account because someone impersonated his wife, DeAnna.
Apparently, Brown’s Twitter account had only been active for two months.
Fancy Pants Foody has the details:
…AB got the mother of all stalker tweets from someone apparently pretending to be his wife, DeAnna. Details are sketchy (and the tweet and account were deleted before I knew about it), but it reportedly included a photo of his wife and child, Zoey.
Later in the day, his account was gone. This time, apparently, for good. And I can’t say I blame him.
Christie, the blog’s lead writer, goes on to say that it appeared as if Brown’s Twitter had been set to private, but now, when @altonbrown address is entered, the return response is “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” However, before Brown took his Twitter account down, he gave the impersonator a piece of mind–140 characters at a time. And while the account has been removed, Brown’s reaction was caught in screencaps:
If the Internet griefer who started the fake account had kept his posts to simple mockery, Brown may have simply ignored it, but once images of Brown’s family were introduced into the situation, Brown understandably reacted with some venom.
And now, Brown’s Twitter account is no more. Brown did, however, address the issue at his blog:
I didn’t leave Twitter because my wife started tweeting. I left Twitter because a parasitic troll fraudulently posing as my wife started tweeting. It even used a photo of my family as its avatar.
The way I see it, Twitter is like a big cocktail party. If I was at a cocktail party and someone puked on my wife’s shoes, odds are excellent that we’d leave. Does that mean I won’t attend any more cocktail parties? Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just have to figure out a way to host my own cocktail parties where people have to actually be accountable for their behavior.
Did Brown overreact? Granted, when images of your family start showing up on other people’s profiles, that may be reason to take pause. That being said, a simple Google Image Search for “Alton Brown Family” reveals at least two images that fit the description. Granted, because the griefer account has been taken down as well, there’s no telling if the person was using Google Image Search to find pictures of the Brown family, or if the offending image was something not readily accessible from Google.
Whatever the case, because of the nature of the Internet anonymity–that is, to give people a hard time under an anonymous guise–Alton Brown’s Twitter account is no more.
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