Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Remember the Fake BP Twitter Guy? Here He Is (We Think)

Remember a few months ago, when a bunch of people were paying attention to the Gulf oil spill? And a smaller number of people were paying attention to @BPGlobalPR, a fake Twitter account satirizing BP Global’s hapless/heavy-handed PR efforts?

Here’s the man behind the Tweets: Josh Simpson, a comedian living in L.A.

Or at least that’s who’s taking credit for the account. Simpson tells The Awl that he lied to Ad Age reporter Rupal Parekh when she asked if he was behind the account back in May: “It’s very easy to lie to the media. They kind of take you at your word.” (Well, sort of. But it makes you a sort of a jerk, right?)

Anyway, Simpson insists he’s telling the truth now. And Awl writer Mat Honan says he’s been able to verify at least part of his story, which he goes into in exhausting detail here. Sample:

Awl: Why did you start the account? What were you hoping to accomplish?

@BPGlobalPR: My initial motive was just to mock them. It wasn’t something I’d been planning. I was home sick from work, perusing the news, and I honestly started it on a whim.

…I was literally taking a whiz when I had this idea: How could I be BP’s public relations team on Twitter?

I started on a Wednesday and did a few tweets to find the voice. If you look at those first tweets, they were really silly. We definitely found the voice later on, that was more like official PR-speak. That Friday I started focusing it more, and following people to get their attention. Roger Ebert retweeted it and it just went from there.

[Photo via The Awl]


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work