On Twitter, it’s Not the Real Malia

On Twitter, it’s Not the Real Malia

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UPDATE, 3.15.12: Of the imposter sites, most have stopped impersonating Bobbi Kristina except one who changed her name, but keeps up the charades. Another account which had started a fake nonprofit encouraging Whitney fans to donate to it also shut down the account. Finally, the Malia account has switched itself to a fan site and deleted some tweets that revealed that it was impersonating Malia. It is unclear whether this Politic365 article, Twitter, the White House or the persistence of some ardent fans or a combination of all were responsible for shutting down most of the impostor Twitter accounts. 

If you’re looking for what Bobbi Kristina has said about the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) interview with her and her family, good luck.  You may have also discovered that the real Bobbi Kristina, whose real Twitter account is @RealBKBrown, hasn’t tweeted since December 26th …. 2011.  And she certainly hasn’t said anything since her mother Whitney’s death.

However, there are several active impersonation accounts (@BobbiKris, @bobbi_kristina & @BobbiKBrown and @REAL_Bobbi_Kris) that are actively engaging in dialogue with Whitney fans and empathetic people seeking to offer their support to Whitney’s daughter.

One particular account that was going back and forth was a fake Malia Obama, which is @Purple_Malia13 on Twitter.

Watchers of politics may know that in a December 2011 People  magazine interview, First Lady Michelle Obama put her foot down.  She stated emphatically that her daughters are not on Facebook.  So then one would assume they aren’t on Twitter, either. But, in fact, there are several dozen fake Malia Obama accounts which Twitter has not caught or flagged as fakes.

Twitters terms of use  policy expressly forbids users from impersonating another real person but requires that person or a representative to actively request the removal of the fake account.

It would be interesting to see if the White House will be able to successfully get all the various fake accounts removed from the social media site, considering how particular and careful the administration has been about what information is released about the First Daughters.

But, interestingly enough, a question arises about Twitter taking its time to remove the fake First Daughter accounts.  Being that the First Family is a national security priority, why won’t Twitter just take the initiative?  Why would the White House, of all places, have to beg for that?

Although they’ve asked the press to respect the girls’ privacy and not overtly reference them in stories, both Michelle and Barack Obama, on occasion, have shared some intimate insights about the girls, from their preferences to other personal details.

Therefore, it’s perhaps can go without saying that there may be a sincere breech of protocol going on with fake Malias actively engaging with the public and having thousands of people believe they are talking to the real Malia.  The Obama daughters are also heavily guarded by the U.S. Secret Service which most likely has an integral presence in the girls’ communication to members of the public, including online media.

It’s a problem that previous administrations have not had to deal with – this is the first White House to exist in the age of social media.  Twitter could make that argument, too, in response to the question above.  We now live in an age of direct and instant access to political figures and celebrities without the filter of publicist, press offices and other intermediaries.

Barack and Michelle’s own Twitter accounts are managed by their staff. When either of them push a personal tweet, they sign it B.O or M.O., respectively.

 

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