WATERTOWN — Who knew that cloning me would be so easy?
OK, I’m not talking about the incredibly detailed medical procedure of reconstructing someone’s genetic makeup to create a new human being. That’s a tad more complicated — and expensive, I’m sure.
But I was recently replicated, in a way. An unknown person or persons (Wow! What if this was a conspiracy with multiple participants?) copied my Twitter account sometime last week.
My account username is WDT_OpEd. I use Twitter to promote the items we print on the editorial page each day, although I’m not as faithful about posting everything we publish as I should be at this point.
In light of this confession, I offer sincere apologies to any of my followers who believe they’ve been deprived of the interesting and provocative content we give our readers. I promise to do better! The twitter-sphere deserves my best efforts.
Anyway, someone created a similar account. But it had a slight difference:
Where there is only one underscore in my account (WDT_OpEd), there were two underscores in the phony Jerry Moore account (WDT__OpEd). This way, the bogus me could use a virtually identical account without being flagged for manufacturing my exact username.
The account also stated that it was created in December 2020. I’ve been on Twitter for a few years, so that’s a giveaway.
Yes, crooks can be very clever! Unless you were looking for such discrepancies, you’d likely never see them.
But I’m incredibly blessed to have some followers who caught these modest yet underhanded maneuvers. They let me know that a fabricated WDT__OpEd account (joined in December 2020) was on the loose.
I’m not sure what motivated this individual to create a duplicate account. When I reviewed it, there were no tweets posted. It seems this person had just begun following the same people as me and collecting my followers.
Hmmm, what nefarious intentions could be at play here? Did this alternative Jerry Moore want to create chaos in Northern New York by posting incendiary items on Twitter, things that I’d never put out there? Did this individual plan to sully my, let’s say, marginally good reputation (if you’re willing to allow for a rather broad interpretation of “marginally good” when referring to my reputation)?
Could this person be seeking money or fame? Was vengeance for some past misdeed on my part the point of this act?
I could speculate that the user wanted the thrill of being Jerry Moore, even for a few days. I mean, come on! Who wouldn’t love being my clone?
Yes, I could speculate that — but I won’t. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news; there aren’t too many thrills here.
Alas, I’ll probably never know what drove this person to indulge in this behavior. Perhaps it was a mischievous reader just trying to goof around.
I’m not certain what a false WDT__OpEd account could have accomplished other than to force me to correct the problem, which I did. Along with a few other people, I notified Twitter of the situation.
I provided some documentation to the social media company’s security team to prove that I was the genuine me, not the illegitimate me. Representatives of Twitter then investigated the other account, deemed it fraudulent and closed it. Problem solved.
Then again, maybe I should have allowed the not-real Jerry Moore to carry on a bit. Could this person have done a better job at generating more excitement with my persona than I apparently do?
I never considered that! Just imagine the possibilities. The fake Jerry Moore may have developed something really intriguing.
And at a crucial moment, I’d swoop in and steal the un-me’s thunder. This would give me all the benefits of creating an adventurous and fascinating lifestyle with virtually none of the effort required.
But, no, the boring Jerry Moore acted prudently to put a halt to this elaborate scheme on Twitter immediately. See what I get for behaving like myself?
Jerry Moore is the editorial page editor for the Watertown Daily Times. Readers may call him at 315-661-2369 or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also may follow him on Twitter (@WDT_OpEd) — but please, don’t clone him! He’s very self-conscious.