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A warning for parents: A seemingly fake “Elmo” account, under the handle @Elmo_PBS, has popped up on Twitter. This account bears no “Verified” blue check mark and has a low, but growing, number of unsuspecting followers.  The account’s profile page features an image that says “The Official Elmo!”

The account first came to my attention back when it was revealed that Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, was accused of banging under-aged boys. Someone retweeted a tweet, an obvious joke, from the account. Since then, whoever is in charge of this apparently phony account has gotten better at posting “in character.” Better, but not perfect. The account holder posts plenty of things that the official account of a corporate children’s show character would never post.

One can only imagine what the motivation would be for someone to create a fake social media account masquerading as a beloved kiddie character. None of what comes to mind is good.  Even if there is no nefarious intent, it’s still a troubling thing to do. Luring kids under false pretenses, even if the goal is something totally innocent like just having an account with a high subscriber count, is not cool.

The poster is quick to jump on hashtag memes to build his or her follower count.  One such hashtag the poster participated in was #YouMightBeARepublican.  He or she has since deleted those tweets.

Here are some samples of other recent tell-tale posts. I’ve got screen captures inserted at the bottom of this post in case the account holder deletes the original tweets.

The account holder has blocked me after I called him or her out, so I can’t go back further on my own. Google cache is our friend, though.

Here are the screencaps:




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