Emily Bazelon, Slate.com editor and founder of recently launched Double X, has an interesting way of dealing with people who impersonate you on Twitter: make them your Facebook friend.
Bazelon tells the story of how she dealt with her Twitter alter ego — discovered a few months ago by colleage and Twitter phenom John Dickerson. First she attempted to go about it the “right” way, contacting the Twitter people and using the Washington Post‘s legal power. But what finally pushed her doppelganger to stop tweeting was a simple strategy: Bazelon started using her own Twitter account. First tweet: “Well turns out the way to make me twitter is to get an impersonator to prod me.”
In the weeks that followed, Bazelon received an email from her Twitter impersonator, who turned out to be a male grad student in Ireland. They spoke on the phone. Then she made him her Facebook friend. It’s not a typical ending to a stalker story, nor is it recommended for everyone, but in the new world of social media — where impersonation can be mere flattery more than attack — maybe we’ll see more of this sort of thing happening.
As Bazelon sums up: “This is what social networking is supposed to be but rarely is, right? A haltingly warm one-on-one encounter between two people who would never have otherwise met. Twitter is the land of a million two-way streets. Now I follow my impersonator on it. And that, too, is a function of the new media map weâ€™re just beginning to navigate.”