Creepy or Awesome: Using Fake Accounts

We’re bringing back a classic segment from our former podcast, Talknowledgy, and taking a look at something that has been in the spotlight a few times recently – fake accounts. No, we’re not talking about Russian and Chinese accounts (that was our last post)…instead, we are looking at celebrities setting up alternate profiles on social media.

Notable examples include NBA star Kevin Durant, who used a fake account to rebut critics of his past decisions. He was found out when he accidentally posted a third-person reply to a fan on his main account.

Another famous example comes from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s wife. She got fed up with what she saw as unjust criticism from journalists and she began calling them out using an anonymous Twitter account.

Keeping up the sports theme, Fox Sports 1 announcer Skip Bayless was caught praising himself on Facebook using a fake account after seemingly forgetting to change to his alternate page.

These are all examples from the world of sports, which I think is merely a coincidence – I am sure this happens in every industry. These individuals just happened to have been found out (or, in the case of Ms. Goodell, she confessed).

This is a hard trend to universally declare “Creepy” or “Awesome”. Many praised Ms. Goodell for ‘doing what any good spouse would do’, even if the way she went about it was a bit underhanded. She did eventually come clean of her own accord and pledge to stop. I think this particular example deserves an ‘Awesome’.

As for Mr. Durant, he was using the account to defend himself from what he saw as unjust criticism. But critics argued putting up with this type of scrutiny comes with the territory. You or I would likely not call out past employers in the way KD did – especially in a small job market such as professional basketball. I think it is neither ‘Creepy’ nor ‘Awesome’, though I hope he has learned his lesson and will stop using fake accounts in the future.

Mr. Bayless’ blatant self-promotion, which amounted to cheerleading, has no redeeming quality. Though his comment attracted some likes, suggesting other fans might agree with the sentiment that he is “the man”, it reeks of desperation. This example definitely earns a ‘Creepy’.


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