Twitter: A baby boom in spoof accounts
Within minutes of the announcement that Kate Middleton and Prince William are to have their first baby the micro-blogging site was awash with new accounts
Rob Williams was Production Editor (Web/Apps) at The Independent. He was also a Senior Online Reporter. He worked for The Independent from June 2008 until April 2015. He is now a journalist on the Manchester Evening News.
Tuesday 04 December 2012
Its arrival in the world may still be many months away but the Royal Baby has already acquired an impressive number of spoof Twitter accounts.
Within minutes of the announcement that Kate Middleton and Prince William are to have their first baby the micro-blogging site was awash with new accounts.
Parody accounts were set-up including @UnbornRoyal, @RoyalFoetus, @HRHBaby, @Royal_Fetus, and @IamRoyalBaby, featuring a range of messages purporting to be from the Duchess of Cambridge's womb.
The first tweet from @RoyalFoetus read: "HELLO WORLD: ALL SHALL KNEEL BEFORE ME."
Later, whoever is behind the account Tweeted to their 6,000 followers: "RT IF YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SERVING ME."
The @IamRoyalBaby account, which was among the first parody accounts, sent the opening message: "Hey everyone, it's me", and within minutes had acquired 2000+ followers, though today the account appeared to be suspended.
Another account @Royal_Fetus stated, rather rudely: "Please don't let me have Auntie Pippa's a**e." before tweeting: "I've got the belly to myself tonight. Keg party anyone? I'm looking at you Uncle Harry."
Social networks were alive with discussion of the future royal baby yesterday after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their announcement.
Today the Duchess remains in hospital being treated for a second day for morning sickness.
Spoof accounts have proliferated on Twitter in the last year with a range of celebrities and public figures being mimicked.
It's all good clean fun....until someone overthrows the monarchy
Basically there are three main outcomes for anyone attempting to set up a social media account for the royal foetus.
One, they will send a few tweets, get bored and then become a feeder for spam in the “This user has been saying cruel things about you” genre.
Two, their account will flourish and its witty tweets will carve out a cult following, eventually culminating in a book deal, like the highly successful @Queen_UK Twitter account.
Thirdly, the spoof account will become highly popular and its longevity will ensure it goes on for years until the as-yet-unborn child matures into a fully grown human adult.
The account’s sarcastic tweets about: “mummy and daddy have been fighting again” will cause the palace to crackdown with a libel lawsuit, but the spoof account’s enduring popularity will see the nation side with the tweeter, eventually resulting in the public overthrowing the monarchy and electing @RoyalBaby as the new ruler.
Besides that, it’s all just a harmless bit of fun.
Emily Jupp is Social Media editor at The Independent
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