Manti Te’o Case Reminds Us Fake Topical Twitter Accounts Are the Worst

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, you’re familiar with the story of Manti Te’o, the star linebacker from Notre Dame and Heisman trophy candidate who either made up the story of his late girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, or was the victim of a cruel, Catfish­-esque prank, depending on whose version you believe at this point. But regardless of whether Te’o was complicit in this matter or not, one thing is for sure: topical fake Twitter accounts are pretty much the worst and should not be a thing anymore.

After the story broke late Wednesday, someone tweeting under an account formerly used by “Lennay Kekua,” promising to make a statement at noon PST on Thursday. Hoping it would be some sort of revelation about whether or not Te’o was in on the ruse, people actually blogged about this and hung on to it. What actually happened underwhelmed: “My statement: This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but I have been told by Alabama’s offense that Manti Te’o is not real.” Someone actually strung the Internet along and set up an incredibly cheap joke about the BCS Championship that had already been made on Twitter by probably a good couple hundred other people. The future, amirite guys?

And that wasn’t the only fake Lennay Kekua after the news (examples include @Lennay_Kekua_ and @Lennay_Kekua), either. Everyone rushed to get their own piece of the joke because Internet and personal branding or whatever, all essentially spewing the same jokes and appealing to cheap high-volume, little-effort and occasionally low-stooping.

This isn’t anything new. As noted here, @InvisibleObama, a parody account inspired by Clint Eastwood’s deranged Old Man Yells At Cloud “Empty Chair” speech at the Republican National Convention, is still active, and even spewing Lennay Kekua jokes. It took about five minutes for someone to become @RomneysBinder after the “Binders Full of Women” debate. Big Birds, escaped cobras from the Bronx Zoo… you name it, it has a fake Twitter account. When will it all end? Is this how the world responds to current events now? We can do so much better, you guys. I know we can. Oh, and Drunk Predator Drone is actually kind of funny, but the rest of y’all need to pack it in. 

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