Gimmick Accounts

Gimmick Accounts

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Updated May 28, 2021 at 02:14PM EDT by Philipp.

Added Apr 19, 2010 at 04:12PM EDT by Watcher.

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Gimmick Accounts, also known as Novelty Accounts are parody profiles on the social media that are meant to impersonate or lampoon a wide range of subjects, from celebrities and public figures to corporations and inanimate objects. Since the launch of the microblogging service in March 2006, gimmick accounts have grown into a genre of web-based performance art, showcasing the creator’s comedy writing or commentaries on current events.


The earliest known parody Twitter account was the "Fake Steve Jobs" profile created on January 26th, 2007, which humorously mocked the former CEO of Apple Inc Steve Jobs. As of October 18th, 2012, the profile has accumulated over 36,300 followers but has not published a tweet since July 31st, 2010.


On October 7th, 2008, the science fiction blog io9[16] published a round-up of notable parody Twitter feeds in a post titled β€œTwitter Me This: Our Favorite Fake Twitter Feeds,” highlighting the film director Michael Bay and fictional characters like Captain Picard and Darth Vader among many others. On February 15th, 2009, PC World[17] published a post titled β€œ15 Fake and Funny Twitter Accounts,” which listed several Twitter feeds mocking various celebrities, including the actors Chuck Norris, Nick Nolte and William Shatner. On June 27th, 2010, The Daily Mail mistakenly reported that Steve Jobs had announced Apple may recall the iPhone 4, citing a tweet by the now defunct fake Twitter account @ceoSteveJobs. The story was initially picked up by other news media outlets, including The Guardian,[18]CNET,[19] Geekosystem[20] and The Next Web,[21] before being retracted after the discovery of the mistake.

Find a Job Dating Wine Our Papers Feedback My Stories Sunday, Jun 偂 ilOnline Scie Home News Sport TV&Showbiz Femail Health Sclence&Tech Home Pictures Gadgets Gifts and Toys Store Science&Tech Money Debate C Apple boss Steve Jobs reveals iPhone 4 may be recalled Visit By RICHARD ASHMORE noatta Last updated at 10:22 AM on 27th June 2010 Comments (66) Videos Add to My Stories The much-vaunted new iPhone 4 may be recalled, Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed efore your last night. child feels Posting a message on the social networking site Twitter, the tycoon said: 'We may have to recall the new iPhone. This I did not expect. like a fish outaunched in Britain last week, the Β£500 handset has been dogged by technical problems of water. &EPA Ad Β© Reuters

On May 19th, 2010, the account BPGlobalPR[1] was created by comedian Josh Simpson in response to the British oil company BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, assuming the perspective of a character named Terry, a fictional member of a PR team for the multinational oil and gas company BP. The account was used to satirize the company's focus on public relations rather than damage control and to channel people’s frustration with its handling of the disaster. After being retweeted by Roger Ebert, @BPGlobalPR gained national attention from The New York Times[3], Advertising Age[4], and the Los Angeles Times[5] as well as inspiring several other "Global PR" accounts, such as UNGlobalPR[8], IsraelGlobalPR[9], and USAGlobalPR.[10]

On November 11th, 2011, the Internet culture blog Slacktory[13] published a post titled "The Fourteen Best Novelty Twitter Feeds," which included several photoshopped screenshots of gimmick Twitter accounts that did not exist. On March 9th, 2012, the viral content site BuzzFeed[12] reported that Twitter had mistakenly verified the fake Twitter @hoobastank_band[23] as the official account for the rock band Hoobastank. On October 4th, The Atlantic[14] published an article titled "What's the Half-Life of Satire in the Age of Twitter?", noting that many satirical Twitter accounts are popular for only a short amount of time. On the following day, New York Magazine[11] published an article titled β€œTwitter Parody Accounts: Where Are They Now?”, which revisited the status of several Twitter accounts that were no longer culturally relevant. On October 19th, the Internet humor site Jest[12] released a video titled β€œTwitter Parody Political Account Graveyard,” which featured a variety of Twitter parody accounts that had fallen out of popularity (shown below).

Twitter Verification

On June 6th, 2009, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced on the official company's official blog[25] that they would be launching a verification service to confirm the identity of "public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation." Verified accounts are identified by a white checkmark on a blue background, which is placed next to the Twitter user's name on their profile page (shown below).

FORWARD OBAMA Barack Obama @BarackObama This account is run by #Obama20 12 campaign staff. Tweets from the Washington, DC 7,080 671,566 FOLLOWING 21,091,920 Follow β–Ό

Notable Examples


Fictional Characters



External References

[1] Twitter – @BPGlobalPR

[2] The Awl – The First Interview: Meet Josh Simpson, the Man Behind Twitter's @BPGlobalPR

[3] New York Times – BP Account on Twitter? Just a Joke; K thx bye

[4] Advertising Age – Why BP Isn't Fretting Over Its Twitter Impostor

[5] Los Angeles Times – Twitter's fake BP spokesman too slick for the oil company

[6] Mashable – Fake BP Public Relations Twitter Account a Viral Hit

[7] Guardian – A crash course in PR from the folks at @BPGlobalPR

[8] Twitter – @UNGlobalPR

[9] Twitter – @IsraelGlobalPR

[10] Twitter – @USAGlobalPR

[11] NY Mag – Twitter Parody Accounts Where Are They Now?

[12] BuzzFeed – Twitter Accidentally Verifies Fake Hoobastank

[13] Slacktory – The Fourteen Best Novelty Twitter Feeds

[14] The Atlantic – What's the Half-Life of Satire in the Age of Twitter?

[15] Twitter – @ObamaTranslated

[16] io9 – Twitter Me This – Our Favorite Fake Twitter Feeds

[17] PC World – 15 Fake and Funny Twitter Accounts

[18] The Guardian – Daily Mail fooled by fake Steve Jobs tweet on iPhone 4 recall

[19] CNET – Paper quotes (fake) Steve Jobs suggesting iPhone 4 recall

[20] Geekosystem – The Daily Mail Reports on iPhone 4 Recall

[21] The Next Web – Daily Fail – Newspaper quotes Fake Steve Jobs Tweet

[22] Jest – Twitter Parody Political Account Graveyard\

[23] Twitter = Hoobastank!!

[24] Twitter – Verified Accounts

[25] Twitter – Not Playing Ball

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