1) Don't reveal your identity. One of the most important aspects of a fake Twitter account (or secret activities on a real one, former Rep. Anthony Weiner
, D-N.Y.) is anonymity. The mystique associated with a fake Twitter account is not to be taken for granted. There is a scientifically proven direct relationship between the length of time you have an active, apparently author-less fake Twitter feed and the number of reporters who will spend all day and night trying to identify you. And, really, why are you doing this, if not for media attention? It should also be noted that this number quadruples in the month of August.
Of course, they will eventually find you out, as Fehrnstrom found out this week. Should this happen to you, do not panic, and do your best to throw the media off your tracks. Fehrnstrom tried his best, tweeting from his @CrazyKhazei account "I just googled @ericferhn and that guy is a loser." We have every faith that you can do better.
2) Don't get carried away. We all fondly remember @MayorEmanuel's expletive-filled rants, like the time he begrudgingly helped
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley
pack up his things to move to D.C. But as he racked up followers, the man behind the account
started getting a little cocky, and things began to get a little weird. It began with mustachioed duck that the fake mayoral candidate dubbed Quaxlerod and ended with a series of acid-trip-inspired adventures with talking animals and a former mayor. As a former teacher once wrote on a paper of ours: This is where I stopped reading. The point is: keep it simple. You are not a celebrity, a comedian or a trendsetter; you're a guy with so little to do with your spare time that you are impersonating a politician on Twitter. Don't let it go to your head.
3) Don't mix up your accounts. Why is this so difficult for some people? Of course, this was a problem for Weiner and Fehrnstrom, but it's even hit @BarackObama
who accidentally re-tweeted the location of the DC Empanadas food truck
in January. Some tips: don't tweet from your phone, never tweet while intoxicated and just don't tweet photos of yourself in compromising positions to begin with. Use a different computer if you have to! These mix-ups were certainly funny (see "do" number one) and they did provide for some intense media coverage (see "don't" number one), but an incident like this is almost-guaranteed to get you fired. Don't say you weren't warned.