Twitter Fails to Ban Hyper-Sexualized President Nelson Impersonator

Twitter Fails to Ban Hyper-Sexualized President Nelson Impersonator January 10, 2019

Which of these is the actual Twitter page for the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

This:

 

Or this:

I hope most of my readers are good enough internet sleuths to be able to tell that the second is the real one. It has considerably more followers. Its Twitter handle (the @ name) is authentic. And it includes the blue check mark of a “verified” account.

But in an everyday conversation, without seeing the entire page in front of you, it might be more difficult. And for someone who is just looking into the church and may not be as savvy on Twitter, this could create genuine confusion.

The fake account includes the description “President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ” rather than describing itself as a parody account. And often speaks in first person, such as “I cannot and will not lead you astray,” while later tweeting about sexual rendezvous to the genuine account for Elder David Bednar.

The account is run by John O’Conner, a former member of the Church. Though the account dates to 2010, it appears to have only begun impersonating Russell M. Nelson in May of 2018. The account often mocks the Church’s doctrine and practices while portraying President Nelson as hyper-sexualized and confused.

Twitter’s policy on this subject is strong and reasonable. Accounts cannot impersonate other individuals unless it is a parody account.

Parody accounts must:

  • Clearly state it is not affiliated with the similarly named individual
  • Not impersonate the person in a deceptive or misleading manner
  • The account name cannot be exactly the same as the person being parodied (this is not the @ Twitter handle, but the name which is featured most prominently)

O’Conner’s account meets none of the Twitter guidelines for a parody account. And has been violating those policies for 8 months, three-quarters of President Nelson’s tenure as church president.

O’Conner seems aware that he is violating Twitter rules. In one post he wrote, “The Mormon Affirmations account violates terms of use for impersonating the actual Mormon person from the book. . . . I’m reporting this person. ;)”

While the parody account has been reported for violating Twitter’s rules multiple times it continues to confuse Twitter users.

While Latter-day Saints must endure mockery on Twitter, even pretty vulgar mockery like this account creates, we should not put up with attempts to confuse investigators, new members, returning members, and those who are not social-media savvy.

Do the right thing Twitter. Make John O’Conner change his account name to “Fake Russell M. Nelson.” It will take him 90 seconds and create a less confusing environment.

Update: Thank you, everyone, for the support. We were able to get the name changed! Congratulations guys!

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Daniel Thornton

    Yikes, that is disturbing.

  • CamHoltoe

    OK.. so how dumb do you need to be not to figure it out?

  • John Pack Lambert

    What could we do to make sure this account is no longer able to falsely masquerade as President Nelson?

  • MoNoMoInUT

    The reality is that ridiculous things deserve ridicule, namely anyone claiming to be a prophet.

  • dustinst22

    dude your picture is frightening here.

  • Christopher D. Cunningham

    lol. Yeah I was pretty mad.

  • Christopher D. Cunningham

    Only a little dumb, but mostly not social media savvy.

  • Christopher D. Cunningham

    I obviously disagree. But you know what ridicule away. I’m not in the business of policing satire.

    But this was impersonation. Twitter’s rules are easy to follow. So why not follow them? Because you want to trick people too. Unless deceit was part of your purpose, there is no reason you can’t ridicule and follow the rules at the same time.

  • The Last Danite

    >You Mormons are so judgmental, spiteful, vindictive, mean, hurtful, and bigoted! You should be more enlightened and open minded like us!
    >You deserve to be ridiculed!

    Sometimes the smokescreen drops just for a moment.

  • Kiwi57

    And bigots who obsess about other people’s beliefs.

  • Kiwi57

    Let’s be clear: it was not a mistake. The miscreant did it intentionally. He/she/it was lying in wait to deceive.

    It’s just what they do.

  • Kiwi57

    LD: “Earth is Nelson’s Kolob, that every female here is his for the at will taking.”

    Where did that delusion come from?

    LD: “Add to this the tens of thousands of children Nelson has soul married over his lifetime…”

    Is this a made-up “fact”, or is there a source for it?

    LD: “People are stupid, obviously.”

    And your comment is exhibit A.

    LD: “For the record, The LDS faith is NOT Christian.”

    For the record, it is. It really is.

    In 1992, Offenders for a Word was published. BYU professors Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks examined all of the arguments denying the Christianity of the Church of Jesus Christ and basically demolished them. In the twenty-six years since then, anti-Mormon polemicists have continued to make that claim; but none of them – not even one – has refuted that book. They haven’t even tried. When you blurt out a proven falsehood, you are simply lying.

    LD: “Joseph Smith
    161578 14928”

    Ah, a nutty conspiracy theory. And “supported” by number games, too!

    How quaint.

    Help is available, you know. They have medication for problems like yours.

    LD: “The computations used to perform this little numeric analysis is LDS base nine triptych code.”

    That sounds impressive. But what does it actually mean?

    LD: “You are being lied to.”

    Most prominently, by you.

  • losangelesute

    The irony of you pointing out that this guy is a false prophet imitating your own false prophet is not lost on former members of your cult.

  • losangelesute

    For the record, Mormonism is just the most BLATANT and obvious fraud that is organized religion. Being born into Mormonism in the internet age is the quickest path to agnosticism/atheism.

  • Kiwi57

    lau: “For the record, Mormonism is just the most BLATANT and obvious fraud that is organized religion.”

    Such is your opinion.

    It’s idiotic, but it’s yours.

    If, just for the purposes of this discussion, we were to accept that that outburst of bigotry was true, the next question is this: How, exactly, would that justify the scumbaggery in view? On the theory that the ends justify the means?

  • losangelesute

    Well, tender snowflake, Mormonism is a collection of ideas coalated over almost 200 years of relative isolation.

    As for how you justify your “scumbaggery” written in your paragraph before, I suppose since you’ve internalized an attack on the fairytales you grew up with as a personal one, I can see how your idiotic outburst makes you feel like one.

    Bigotry, as it were, is an indication of actual intolerance of faith that can neither be proven nor disproven. “Does God exist”, for example. The rational world ascribes no such latitude with the word when it comes to evidence found that disproves aspects of a faith.

    It is not my “opinion” that Mormonism was and continues to propagate fraud, it is a fact, a sure knowledge that trumps your contrasting faith when it comes to the foundation of Mormonism.

    I tolerate flat earthers fine enough, but they don’t call themselves a religion. As with Mormonism, it is not far enough to assert that flat-earthers being wrong is “such my opinion” but rather an immutable fact that they are verifiably wrong. In the words often attributed to Galileo:
    “And yet it moves.”

  • Kiwi57

    lau: “Bigotry, as it were, is an indication of actual intolerance of faith that can neither be proven nor disproven.”

    Bigotry is an observable set of behaviours.

    For example: almost any religion you could name teaches things that I don’t believe. I don’t call such beliefs “fraud” because I’m not a bigot. You, however, call the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ “fraud” because you are a bigot. You hate the Church so much that you can’t tolerate the existence of people who believe and practice its teachings.

    Well, sorry.

    lau: “It is not my ‘opinion’ that Mormonism was and continues to propagate fraud, it is a fact,”

    No. It is a lie.

    And you are the author of it.

    lau: “a sure knowledge that trumps your contrasting faith when it comes to the foundation of Mormonism.”

    In the totality of your bigotry, you assume that you know more about “the foundation of Mormonism [sic]” than those who disagree with you.

    In the which, you would be wrong.

    Incidentally: the “scumbaggery” to which I refer is the disgraceful and unconscionable behaviour of the scumbag who made the deceitful twitter page under discussion.

    Of course, having no moral scruples of your own, you naturally can’t see anything wrong with it.