I am being impersonated on Twitter: Tony Flannery

I went on twitter for a short while about two years ago, and then got tired of it. Now I am informed that there is someone impersonating me, and tweeting some fairly nasty stuff.
I attempted to get on to Twitter to try to sort it out, but the hoops I had to go through were way beyond my technological skills.
Has anyone a suggestion? What do people do in these situations? Is there any point in reporting it to the guards?
Tony Flannery

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  1. Philomena B. says:

    Have you used this form Tony ? If not and not sure how to use – can get details and do if for you and then see what happens next.
    They do allow parody etc to a degree, as long as it does not break the terms and conditions of Twitter which it seems they would be doing. Send off that form and tell them what is happening. If you need others to complain – I am sure the people here would be happy to do so.

  2. Philomena B. says:

    Maybe ask them how you might inform the relevant law enforcement department/s in Ireland, UK and US in your submission. If it takes that – then report them through Twitter or ask the Garda.

  3. Brendan Cafferty says:

    I have been in touch with Tony and we have got a solution. Nasty impersonation I must say.

  4. Sean O'Driscoll says:

    This is the Twitter link where you can complain of impersonation. I believe they take this seriously. Give them all the info they ask for and hope the issue can be resolved.
    However if it’s not your actual account that’s been hacked, but some “Twit” using a similar name/handle to cause confusion, then you may not be able to do much about it, apart from notifying everyone of your followers on your genuine account that there is a “Twit” in existence trying to harm your reputation.
    Good luck Tony!

  5. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Yes, Tony, this should be reported and addressed. Many people have unofficial twitter accounts and the real way to combat it is by having a twitter account and being more active on it than any impersonator. He currently has 11 followers and 12 following. Is this the “@frtonyflannery” which is the imposter? I’ll dig into this a little bit.

  6. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Please contact the Church of Ireland via twitter or email to let them know not to follow you under this account, they seem to be following this gentleman. Also, please update your own page to include a picture so that it looks more official. Tony, reality is you are in the public sphere and people are going to do this and the only way to combat it is by the Association members creating their own accounts and adding you. Don’t shy away from this social media because things like this will happen. Embrace its communication if its for nothing but sending out a daily prayer to the other members. You all should be involved with twitter/social networking. This is the communications network that will join nations of people with like minds together.

  7. go to http://www.twitter.com at the bottom of the page click help. click on policies and violations. click on report a violation.
    click on reporting impersonations accounts. click on how to i report an impersonation account. then follow the steps.

  8. Sean O'CONAILL says:

    If you Google ‘hacked twitter account’ you will find a Twitter help page for this problem. So long as your email address has not been hacked also, the changing of your Twitter password should be fairly easily accomplished.

  9. Eddie Finnegan says:

    LLoyd (@6&7), Twitter is a handy and flexible little tool for some things and can indeed be used to feed into other media – short blogs, weekly columns etc. But my own feeling agrees with Tony’s opening sentence: “I went on Twitter for a short while . . . . and then got tired of it.”
    Seems to me Tony’s recent 5-point blog-style column in The Journal.ie [on the Bishops’ old-style hamfisted approach to the Govt bill on Protection of Life during Pregnancy] is a form beter suited to Tony’s style.
    Not that the comments which followed are of any higher quality than we can expect in most Irish media these days. As for Twitter as a vehicle for emitting a daily prayer, well poor Benedict got himself persuaded into that lark a while back and look at the flood of inane hostility he evoked every time – except in the Latin version! Latin obscenity a rather neglected part of international curricula, it seems. Lucky he didn’t read the comments, though his handlers swore he saw some of his “own” tweets. Now Francis has sent out 30 tweets since 17 March. Anyone in any doubt about the feedback he’s getting, cast an eye over the 260 responses to yesterday’s evil and nefarious tweet: “Let us pray for the many Christians in the world who still suffer persecution and violence. May God grant them the courage of fidelity.” WHAM!

  10. Brendan Cafferty says:

    It has been reported. Tony has a ticket No and has to fax some proof eg. driving licence or passport, things which should be demanded on setting up an account to prevent actual impersonation one would think.But there it is. Shows the mind that set up false account and the things that were put up on it.

  11. Good news Brendan (@13). Let’s hope he also gets a little authentic account sticker like the Pope. He deserves one.

  12. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    You can impersonate someone on twitter but only if it is done as a comedy styling. It is certainly the greatest form of flattery. What this person is doing is damaging, to the extent of his network and who they include. I’ll have to disagree with you, Eddie on no. 12, just slightly. There is no appropriate social media style when you are a beacon for a message that needs to reach millions of people. Twitter is mobile “social”. If you have a mobile phone and work from it, there is a good chance that tweets fill your day. I wouldn’t recommend him being on twitter if he was only a “receiver” however “transmitters” should embrace everything available in the market and members who support him should equally be engaged in this.

  13. Brendan Cafferty says:

    Yes Pól (@14) For me (and this may be unfair) I will judge the new Pope on how he treats those good priests like Tony.They have never brought their church into disrepute and in fact have adorned it, from my experience.

  14. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Oh and Eddie, (13) a few questions about your comment concerning sending out a daily prayer: would you have recommended that the Pope not send out a daily prayer via twitter? Do you often recommend to stop praying when the results aren’t favourable? Who would have had to have persuaded the Pope to send out a daily tweet??? Doesn’t the “inane hostility” in response simply justify the need for a daily prayer? I know it’s human nature to expect a certain level of couth from people but most people don’t really think before they type/talk and I send my prayers out for them daily too, wherever in the universe they may be. Oh, and the Pope’s comment garnered negative comments (in the hundreds) and 5000 retweets and 2600 favorites so your actual analysis of the reaction is simply not accurate.

  15. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Ah, well Lloyd, so long as it makes the man happy. And I’m glad to see my take on it got you thinking. 🙂

  16. I agree Brendan (@16) and I have been replying to the Pope’s daily tweets on those lines, suggesting that he apply the various virtues he is promulgating on Twitter to his own dealings with the silenced.
    Nobody is likely to read these responses given the volumes on Twitter but I thought I might eventually compile them into a case for the prosecution or defence depending on the outcome.
    Twitter is a tool and a very powerful one if used correctly. I have done a post in defence of Twitter here and people might just be interested in thinking about it.
    It is more than a vehicle for bland aphorisms and it’s a pity the Pope is not aware of this. In Benedict’s time the objective seemed simply to be to show the Pope was “with it”. Serious waste of a serious resource.
    I would suggest the ACP give it a go but they have enough on their hands for the moment.

  17. I agree Lloyd (@17) regarding “impersonation”. There are a lot of very funny spoof accounts on Twitter and they can brighten the day enormously. There used to be one on Mary Coughlan (Tánaiste not singer) which was priceless and was clearly a spoof. There is one (@God) which is clearly not the man himself and can be very funny but a bit overdone. I have a divine one myself which is clearly a spoof but I do use it to make serious points.
    However, the Tony impersonation is in another class entirely. It is a vicious and nasty piece of work. It is projecting an image of Tony which is in part consistent and in part malicious. You could just be fooled and think Tony was losing it. I am not a complete idiot and that thought occurred to me as I had actually followed that account in Twitter thinking it was genuine.
    I then got a bit suspicious and asked on this site if Tony could confirm, via the site, if it was really him. I don’t recollect getting a reply at the time. But I am glad to see this evil person finally exposed.
    I have taken a copy of their stream, in case they have the wit to take it down, and intend doing a post on it at some stage in the future after the matter is resolved.
    I have no doubt it will be resolved. Twitter are very particular about their reputation and move very quickly against this sort of abuse. I’ve seen it in my own family.
    It would be good if Tony took to Twitter. He has a lot to offer and could use it, not simply for expressing himself directly, but also for drawing attention to other items of interest online.
    He would need to know, though, that he would get a lot of the brown stuff coming at him and to ignore it and just continue ploughing the furrow, talking to his real audience.

  18. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Good job everyone – the ACP has a very solid community supporting them, from Ireland and abroad.

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