City Desk

Mayor Fooled by Parody Twitter Account

Update, 1:10 p.m.: Pedro Ribeiro, the mayor's spokesman, isn't happy about this post. Before tweeting out the fake Anita Bonds account, according to Ribeiro, the mayor's staff checked with two D.C. Council staffers who thought it was real. Ribeiro also doesn't think the mayor should be singled out for believing in an account that had already been tweeted out by reporters from the Examiner, the Post, and City Paper.

"That's why people don't take anything seriously in this city," says Ribeiro. "It's this ridiculous game that we play."

Just hours after being appointed to the position by the D.C. Democratic State Commitee that she heads, new interim at-large councilmember Anita Bonds created a Twitter account. Social media disaster ensued, with Bonds publicly trying to send a private message to new colleague Marion Barry, then attempting to delete it. Or so it appeared this morning!

Ultimately, the real Bonds denied to the Post's Tim Craig that she was behind the account, demanding an answer for "why people do silly stuff." Bonds does have a real account, according to Craig, but needs to recall what the password is.

Despite not being real, though the fake Anita Bonds received a warm welcome from Mayor Vince Gray.

Of course, lots of other people thought Bonds was just being really bad at Twitter, including yours truly. But I'm not the mayor! Ninety-seven thousand, nine hundred seventy-eight people didn't vote for me precisely so I wouldn't be tricked by fake Twitter accounts.

Now let's relive the highlights of @cmanitabonds, when it seemed like our newest legislator really was flailing around on Twitter.


Photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • David Alpert

    This is funny, and all, but I don't know if we should hold our elected officials to a higher standard than journalists in terms of detecting fake Twitter accounts. We vote for elected officials to make good decisions about budgets, hiring, policy, etc. and journalists to help us understand information that's out there, including online. Which is more responsible for figuring out this kind of stuff?

    Let's just agree that it's really not possible to tell whether a Twitter account is fake without calling the person, that in the hyper-fast news cycle everyone will spread the word about a Twitter account before they can check, and so this stuff is going to happen. And it's funny, so it's really not a problem that it happens; it's certainly not damaging the city.

  • Tired of It

    "That's why people don't take anything seriously in this city," says Ribeiro. "It's this ridiculous game that we play."

    I think its more the fact that half of all recent DC politicians are in jail, are going to jail, have been in jail, or may be in jail soon.

  • Fact Checking 101

    @David Alpert - Is "hyper-fast news cycle" the latest excuse for lazy reporting?

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