The Richard Hammond on Twitter is a fake – This is why I did it…Posted: February 15, 2009 | |
On Friday 13th at around 3pm, I was thinking about how to best get it through to my scouts about the dangers of the internet and that people on there are not always who they say they are. As I thought more about how to begin to educate them I began to think that the education should begin with Adults and infant the parents of said Children.
Numerous things went through my head as I looked through bebo profiles, twitter accounts and facebook profiles of people aged 14-18. I began to wonder if the parents of the kids pages I was looking at knew that their children were on these sites, and knew about the content on these pages. Such detailed information about themselves, addresses, phone numbers, photos, when their parents where on holidays and when they would next have a free house. All of this information completely innocent and very dangerous in the wrong hands.
I looked to twitter, and blog articles of fake celebs on twitter, how people had believed them to be the real people and had been interacting with complete strangers. I had an idea to set myself up as a fake Richard Hammond and see if I could make adults unknowingly interact with a complete strangers.
At 3.30 on Friday 13th – I became Richard Hammond and almost straight away, I received a following and became a massive buzz on twitter. Almost straight away people began to interact.
Here are some of the 182 personal tweets I received.
Actually, you might be recording that new show on BBC1. Sorry i can’t remember what it is, but you must be rolling in it!
Did you keep your little Opel from Africa?
when is top gear comeing backi need my top gear fix please bring it back soon please a most grateful top gear fann ally x
typed in your name and there you were.Quite simple really.x
hi richard! you may be small but nice things are easy to find! x
hey richard, hope u, mindy and the girls are having a nice relaxed weekend. :) your book bout oliver n co is ace :) x x
Hi Richard, Saw the ads for your new BBC show, look good. Braniac by any other name ?!!? lol
Happy valentine sweety you can follow me when or whereever you wish
wow! gotta love the guy – a true inspiration to us all. people used to say i was a legend -but richard really IS legend:-)
I even received a DM from @stephenfry.
but by around 3pm on Saturday 14, the gig was up, @realjamesmay and @stephenfry had outed me as the fake celeb scoundrel that I am. The backlash started – well most people were fine about it, a few threatened to hunt me down and kill me but really they should have been annoyed at themselves for believing that Richard Hammond was on twitter talking about cooking dinner for his wife when a quick look at the top gear live website would confirm that he was actually in New Zealand doing a show.
So Why did I do it ?
Well like I said before, to prove a point to my scouts, and mostly to the parents of those scouts that the Internet whilst a great asset and the best research tool around is full of fake celebs and people a lot worse than that can speak directly to their kids and have them believe things that just are not true.
This is the story of Claire, I have put this video on my blog before and It really hits home, watch it (now is good)
This is serious folks, You are allowing your Children to go online, unsupervised and do ‘whatever’ just because you don’t understand what is going on and what the internet is all about. Its no excuse – get with the program before it is too late. In my home town last year we had 4 teenage suicides, all put down to online bullying.
I urge you to right now, get your kids, get online with them and go through together their profiles on social networking sites. What message are they sending to the world and themselves, I’m not talking about a heavy handed scolding session but rather parents and kids working together to make it right. Look at their profiles – put yourself in the shoes of someone that would want to look at this stuff for the wrong reasons and come to a conclusion together about what should remain on there and what should change.
If my impersonating of Richard Hammond offended you, then I apologise but hopefully some good will come of it.