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Posts Tagged ‘@cwalken’

A Look Back At 12 Months Of Twitter (Part One)

Twittercism celebrates its first birthday today. It’s been a fun time, and if you’ll excuse the self-indulgence, I thought it might be interesting to look back at some of the key posts and themes – as well as the goofs and misfires – of the past 12 months.

It also functions nicely as a timeline of the change and development within Twitter over this period.

This is part one of two posts.

(Note: this is a very long post. If you want the tldr version, it’s ‘stuff happened’).

February 2009

The very first post on Twittercism asked whether Stephen Fry, who at the time was the third most popular user on the network behind Barack Obama and the then unofficial CNN Breaking News account, would ever be caught by any other bonafide celebrities.

The incident that would come to be know as, "Do you remember that time when Stephen Fry got trapped in a lift?"The incident that would come to be known as, “Do you
remember that time when Stephen Fry got trapped in a lift?”

Well, yes. A year later, and despite adding over a million followers, Fry has dropped to a relatively lowly 151 on the network. He’s still enormously popular, but as Twitter itself gained significance and started to attract more A-list celebrities it was always going to be difficult for Stephen to compete with the bigger American names.

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Was Twitter Right To Suspend 'Christopher Walken'?

There was an interesting piece in the Washington Post this weekend about the rise of celebrity culture on Twitter and specifically the problems that the network – and fans – face with imposters pretending to be famous folk.

The article makes some valid points and gives some nice press to Valebrity, who have done a great job of validating the vast majority of celebrity accounts on Twitter, and continue to do so. I urge you to visit Valebrity.com if you’re at all curious if that celebrity you’re following is genuine.

The Post also mentions the suspension of the account of Christopher Walken, aka @cwalken, which took place on Saturday. At the time, Walken’s account was nearing 100,000 fans, and was wildly popular, receiving a lot of attention within the Twittersphere and the mainstream press, where the absurd tweets were often quoted.

Christopher Walken. Kinda.

The problem was the account was a fake. As Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in an email to the Post, “Impersonation is against our terms.” Visit @cwalken’s profile page and you’ll now be greeted by the dreaded suspension owl. Click on the link below the image, and you can read Twitter’s suspension policy, which includes impersonation as a breach of their terms of service.

But this is where it all gets a little hazy. When is an impersonation actually a parody, and why does Twitter ban some impersonators, and not others?

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