Obama Isn’t The Only 'Verified' Twitter Account Updated By Somebody Other Than The Person 'Verified'

There’s been some fuss over President Obama’s admission that despite having a verified account with over 2.5 million followers, he has never used Twitter at all.

“I have never used Twitter but I’m an advocate of technology and not restricting internet access,” says Obama, and good for him. Of course, and while this news does take away a little of the impact from some of the classic Obama tweets, you’d have to have been more than a little naive to think the leader of the Western world really had the time to write his own tweets.

Furthermore, and while we can perhaps excuse the President, Obama is hardly alone. There are many ‘verified’ Twitter accounts that are not, and likely never have been updated by the famous name linked therein. Here’s a brief list to whet your appetite:

The latter of course makes absolute sense – give Cruise just two weeks in social media and he’d completely unravel what is left of an already floundering career, torn to pieces as it has been by his own particular idiosyncrasies.

Obama Isn't The Only 'Verified' Twitter Account Updated By Somebody Other Than The Person 'Verified'

Quite. Still, all of this makes me wonder: for an account to be verified, do we need some guarantee that it’s actually the person authenticated who is making those updates? Is it good enough that it’s simply connected in some way to the real person? Shouldn’t they be getting involved, too?

If you want to make a news and announcements account, then at least give us the courtesy of, uh, announcing that bit of news.  One recent example of how this should be done is @Team_Barrowman, which provides news updates concerning the actor/entertainer John Barrowman. Another is the @McInTweet account, which provides updates about comedian Michael McIntyre. It is, however, a crying shame that McIntyre himself hasn’t embraced Twitter, unlike many of his British comic peers.

I’m busy, you’re busy, everybody is busy. If the lovely Milla Jovovich can update tons of times per day, while working on set, then so can you. And if you really don’t have the time, then be very clear that it’s not you doing the updates. Please – think of the fans.

Otherwise, all we’re really verifying is that account is official, inasmuch as somebody is being paid to update it by the verified person (or their reps) and their management has returned an email to say, “Yes, this is real.” And more importantly, certainly when it comes to Twitter’s legal position, that it’s not an impostor.

Who, let’s face it, does a more interesting job most of the time. Which leads me to suspect that something else is afoot. Maybe the celebrities hiding behind these managed accounts aren’t all that busy, after all. Quite possibly that’s just a convenient excuse. I wonder if a good number of them are suffering from a far more damaging predicament, and one that is significantly harder to shake off – that they’re very, very dull.