One of the worst results of a celebrity passing away is the amount of idiotic parody accounts that show up on social media. When Paul Walker died last year, social media was flooded with posts like this:
The only way to really show respect to someone is to click like on a poorly photoshopped image with an arrow that’s completely out of proportion. My favorite was discovered by comedian Cornell Reid who posted this image that is so ridiculous you may need a nap after seeing it:
Here are a few questions I have about this one:
– How are Paul Walker and Tupac friends?
– Are shirts not allowed in heaven?
– Where exactly is Paul Walker in this photo that he already knows he’s passed away, but still has cell phone service to call heaven?
– Tupac doesn’t even have a phone in that picture!
– Do you have to have someone save you a seat in heaven? If my afterlife experience is like the bus scene in Forrest Gump, I’m going to be so embarrassed.
As dumb as these are, they pale in comparison to an account that took off after the death of James Avery, who played Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Instead of going with the expected “Retweet for Respect” post, this person decided to take it to another level. Here’s the account:
Parody accounts like this pop up all the time, but few of them actually try so hard to pose as the real celebrity. You’ll usually get a bio that reads “Not the real Will Smith. This is a parody” or something of that nature.
A few hours after the news broke of Avery passing away, this account posted the following tweets:
Would anyone possibly believe this is the actual Will Smith? I mean if one of the biggest movie stars in the world decided to join Twitter, do you really think he would make his username based on a television show he did years ago? I don’t think Sandra Bullock would go with @Speed2CruiseControlSandra.
The most insane part of this account is that middle tweet. He’s asking for unlimited retweets, which isn’t unheard of, but the image attached to the tweet may the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen on Twitter, and that’s saying something:
Let’s list off everything that’s stupid about this:
– First of all, no. This is mind-numbingly dumb and no one should believe this.
– If Will Smith had an idea for a television show, I’m fairly certain it would lead to at least a phone call, not a social media direct message.
– NBC’s Twitter account isn’t run by an executive or anyone that can actually make decisions on programming.
– I’m pretty sure Will Smith would call him by his actual name, and not Uncle Phil.
– No TV show in history has been approved based on a number of retweets.
– No network, let alone one of the major networks, would approve a show with the promise of 300,000 viewers.
– I also enjoy that the NBC account is supposed to have said “Nice to hear from you again” like he messages them all the time with ideas or just to check in and let them know how he’s doing.
There’s no way anyone would believe this, right? Wrong. As of the time this was written, that tweet has over 120,000 retweets.
As stupid as that is, it’s also quite repulsive. If you don’t know how these parody accounts work, here’s how and why they exist:
– They’ll create an account based on a breaking news story, usually the death of someone famous in order to gain the most amount of followers.
– The account will usually change names when another story breaks or some other famous person passes away.
– This process will continue until they’ve amassed a large number of followers, then they’ll start creating other accounts that will be retweeted by this established large account.
– Now the gross part. The person running the account will start posting sponsored tweets with ads in them, where they get paid every time someone clicks on the link in the tweet.
So basically, it’s disgusting people using someone’s death and public sympathy to make money. It’s one of the most atrocious things on social media or the Internet in general. To make it even worse, most of these accounts eventually morph into comedy accounts that do nothing but steal jokes from actual comedians and claim them as their own. They’re just all around bad.
Just remember, if you see an account of your favorite celebrity that isn’t verified and has underscores, numbers, or incorrect spellings in their Twitter handle, there’s a good chance it’s not them. Also, the actual Will Smith won’t base his career decisions on your retweets.