It’s never been a better time to be a jerk on Twitter. Why? Because you could tweet something horrendous, quickly delete it and claim whatever screenshots were taken were fake.
There’s a site that’s letting people make fake tweets for ANY Twitter handle and the result looks entirely real. And this is not a joke.
All you have to do is enter ANYONE’s Twitter handle, write a fake tweet and voila! The page pulls in the person’s profile pic.
You select the retweet and favorite counts AND you can also change the time stamp. The potential for abuse here is pretty scary.
But for now, let’s take a look at some of the fake tweets folks are creating – and after that, we’ll tell you what you can do.
You really need to read some because although this is horrifying, many are pretty funny (many others are homophobic or potentially bullying, we’ll leave those for someone else to screenshot):
This one from Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team:
This from photographer Thomas Hawk:
And this one from Josh Groban:
And just all of these:
So what can you do about this? Nothing really. Contact @support and ask Twitter to do something about it, if they can. Maybe it’s time they put that shiny new patent to good use? Not sure if it applies though (legal folks, please weigh in).
Outside of that, if you’re wondering if a screenshot is valid – consider the source. If you didn’t take it yourself, do you trust the person who did?
And until this site is closed down, if you DO screenshot a tweet, you should probably take two – one of the tweet to use in your post and one of the ENTIRE screen – or enough of it to show it’s not a fake.
So have fun with the site while you can – and here’s hoping it doesn’t cause too many problems for everyone!
(Mermaid image from Shutterstock)