Horrible gremlin man Rudy Giuliani—whose face is the only thing I will see during my eternity in Hell—is many things: a virulent racist, a hate-monger, a member of Trump’s transition team, a man who formerly refused to endorse Trump. But a Twitter user is apparently not one of the many, colorful ways the man could be described.
That’s starting to be a problem.
Yesterday the microblogging service banned @RudolphGiuliani following a bizarre fake statement regarding the Pizzagate conspiracy. Whoever was running @RudolphGiuliani wanted the account’s followers to believe “America’s Mayor” is sympathetic to the cause of shitty internet sleuths who think a DC pizzeria is a hub of child trafficking and pedophilia, such that the banning required its own Snopes entry. And maybe he is! Giuliani wouldn’t be the first person involved in the Trump team to spout conspiracy theory bullshit on Twitter.
But again, @RudolphGiuliani is not Rudy, because Rudy has no verifiable presence on Twitter.
This situation mirrors that of @EastwoodUSA last month, an account that was banned for impersonating professional scowler Clint Eastwood. Where that situation led to outrage on behalf of those duped by the @EastwoodUSA—with many calling the ban a form of political censorship, covering their own faces in egg with every tweet—no one appears to have massively clowned themselves over the fake Giuliani account. That would be the end of it, if @RudolphGiuliani were the only account impersonating the former mayor.
There are (and have been) many phony Giuliani accounts—most of which don’t call themselves out as fakes, parodies, or anything less than the genuinely horrible article. The most popular of these, @RudyGiuliani, has amassed 71,000 followers. Is this account fooling absolutely anybody? Yes it is.
Audience size isn’t the only factor that lends credence to bullshit. Sometimes all it takes is to be an idiot.
A few weeks back, Kathleen McFarland was fooled by a fake Giuliani account with the obviously fake handle @xxxxxxx37583982 (the other dead giveaway was the string of emoji.) Unlike “Dylan Jae” or “Cindy” above, McFarland isn’t just some rando on the internet—she’s a Fox News national security analyst who will be serving as Trump’s Deputy National Security Advisor. Whoops!
Last month it was also widely reported that NBC’s Chuck Todd was fooled by a Giuliani parody account @rudygiulianiGOP (since banned.) When Giuliani corrected Todd during “Meet The Press” he even admitted to knowing these fake accounts were out there. “That’s somebody pretending to be me,” the former mayor said, “There are about four of them out there that pretend to be me.”
You know what would stop that from happening, Rudy? Get a fucking Twitter account.
I don’t like it any more than you, but these are the times we live in. As a public figure, you need a verified Twitter account, if only to keep people from so easily impersonating you online. It’s basic media literacy for someone in government, Rudy. I don’t care if you tweet or not (in fact, I’d prefer if you didn’t.) It’ll take all of two minutes and I’m sure Donald will be happy to help you set it up.