Late last week, I received a phone call from one of the original authors of the EmergentDudeBro Twitter account. More on that below.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter affords anonymity for those who want it. It’s baked into the cake of Twitter, and, in principle, I don’t mind that. Of course, when anonymity is allowed, people will say things that they would not otherwise say.
Because of Twitter’s anonymity, there are innumerable fake (aka “parody”) Twitter accounts. There’ve been fake accounts about me, my friends, and my theological sparring partners for a while now. The account referenced above is one that sprang up a couple weeks ago, and it uses a photo of me, taken by my spouse, in its profile.
My rule of thumb is to block fake Twitter accounts, just like I block Twitter accounts that write unkind things about me. And let me make my reasons for this clear with an analogy: I have made a menu on my television satellite box. It shows the channels I want to see, but it blocks porn, home shopping channels, FOX News, TBN, and others. I have no desire to silence FOX News or TBN — they have a right to access to the public airwaves, and they can pay to be on the satellite. But I have no desire to scroll through those channels when I’m looking at what’s on television.
It’s similar with Twitter. I’m not asking people to stop criticizing me on Twitter or to stop making fun of me on Twitter. That’s fine. But I’m just not that interested in seeing it, especially the mean-spirited stuff. I really like Twitter, and I use it to communicate with lots of my friends.