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Twitter-Based Impersonator Exposed

What may be Twitter’s highest profile faker to date has been exposed.

An Exxon Mobil “rep” popped up on the service last week to talk about the oil industry and take questions. “Janet,” as she was called, seemed to know her stuff and offered plenty of insight.

The only problem? She didn’t work for Exxon. The company has no idea who she was and didn’t even know she existed until The Houston Chronicle called to ask about her over the weekend.

The oil company told the Chronicle it isn’t sure how it’ll handle the unusual impersonation. Twitter, for its part, said it would review any account believed to have been created under false pretenses.

The idea of guys pretending to be younger or even pretending to be women is certainly commonplace enough on the net these days. One does have to wonder, though, why anyone would possibly want to pretend to be an oil company representative — one who provides seemingly serious, straight-forward information without any kind of joke, statement, or payoff involved.

Maybe she was gunning for a job and thought if she pretended long enough, they’d hire her? Or maybe there was some big revelation on the way — a political statement or a punchline — and she was just trying to really establish herself as a legitimate source first?

Sadly, we may never know.

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