Don’t be duped: Beware of these Twitter parody accounts

No, Mark Zuckerberg and these other tech celebrities aren’t really following you on Twitter

A woman imitating the pose of a statue next to her

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Twitter has become the top place for people to compliment celebrities through parody accounts. Tech superstars, of course, are no exception to this form of flattery (or derision), so, if you find yourself excited because you think Bill Gates has started following you on Twitter, look a little more closely and be sure it’s really him before you tell all your friends. Use the arrows above to see a number of titans of the technology world who have been honored, so to speak, with Twitter parodies, including some of the more clever pretend tweets that have been written in their names.

See also:

Twittering! The first tweets of 20 tech titans

12 titans of technology who tackled sports

11 technologies that tick off Linus Torvalds

Wisdom to code by, an illustrated guide to programmer proverbs

Screenshot of Twitter profile rmsthebot

Richard Stallman

Who is he? Creator of the Emacs text editor and the GCC compiler; founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation.

His real Twitter account: Stallman doesn’t tweet, although he did create a Twitter account, @rmscomments, solely for the purpose of using it to comment on articles around the web.

Don’t be fooled by: @rmsthebot, @stallmanu, @notRMS, @GNUplusLINUX, @mrrstallman, @StallmanRM, @BigDickStallman

Sample parody tweets:

Why is it bad to use an unauthorized copy of a proprietary program? Because it’s proprietary! @rmsthebot

M&Ms are the only non-free item I consume. @stallmanu

Thankful today for the TSA discontinuing my patdown after finding the mashed potatoes under my beard. @notRMS

Screenshot of Twitter profile rmsthebot

Larry Ellison

Who is he? Co-founder of Oracle; two-time winner of the America’s Cup.

His real Twitter account: @larryellison

Don’t be fooled by: @NewLarryEllison, @Larry_Ellison_, @LarryEllison_, @TheFakeLarry, @BoredLarryE, @LarryDoitmyway, @NotLarryEllison

Sample parody tweets:

Lobbying to have the Higgs-Boson particle deemed the "Ellison particle". RT if you agree! @LarryEllison_

The boat I will dock here in Lanai will be called Sailsforce. #IWillEatYourLunch @NewLarryEllison

I am now declared as an official currency, I don't need to hand over any type of payment. I just walk pass the register and take a receipt. @TheFakeLarry

Screenshot of Twitter profile FakeTimmyCook

Tim Cook

Who is he? CEO of Apple.

His real Twitter account: @tim_cook

Don’t be fooled by: @TimCookParody, @fauxTimCook, @ParodyTimCook, @FakeTimmyCook, @Plaid_Cook

Sample parody tweets:

April 24th. Watch. Buy it. Make me rich. #AppleWatchEvent #AppleWatch #AppleLive @TimCookParody

Due to so many people not liking our free 'Songs of Innocence' gift, I'll make it up to you by making Bono wait in line for his iPhone 6. @fauxTimCook

If the Apple Watch is $17,000, just imagine the cost of our car. @ParodyTimCook

Screenshot of Twitter profile ceoMarcBen

Marc Benioff

Who is he? Founder and CEO of Salesforce.

His real Twitter account: @Benioff

Don’t be fooled by: @FakeMarcBenioff, @ceoMarcBen, @BenioffsShoes, @fakebenioff

Sample parody tweets:

Been reading #50ShadesOfGrey. Its given me some great ideas for motivating the @salesforce sales team #CountOutYourLostLeads @FakeMarcBenioff

Join us at #DF11 to see how many devices I can pull out of my boxers this time. @ceoMarcBen

Anyone notice I crop-dusted the VIP section when I was walking around? Behold my cloud. #df11 @fakebenioff

Screenshot of Twitter profile rmsthebot

Steve Ballmer

Who is he? Former Microsoft CEO; current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

His real Twitter account: @clippersteveb (formerly @stevebmicrosoft)

Don’t be fooled by: @SteveBaIImer, @ceoStevieB, @StevenPBallmer, @ballmersquared, @Steve_BaIImer, @StevenBallmerVP, @FBallmer, @CEOSBallmer, @iAmSteveBallmer, @ImSteveBallmer, @steveballlmer1, @fauxsteveb, @fakesteve_b, @FakeBallmer, @Balmmdogg, @angrysteveb, @fakesteveb, @fkesteveballmer, @innovativeceo10, @BallmerSmash, @AngryBallmer

Sample parody tweets:

I'm the Chuck Norris of tech. @Balmmdogg

My iCloud is hacked. Expect some nude pics of me. @Balmmdogg

There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. @StevenPBallmer

Screenshot of Twitter profile rmsthebot

John McAfee

Who is he? Founder of anti-virus software company McAfee Associates; former fugitive.

His real Twitter account: @officialmcafee (unverified)

Don’t be fooled by: @mcafeetogo, @JohnnyFugitive, @FakeJohnMcAfee, @McAfeeMc

Sample parody tweets:

Scientists: LSD not bad for mental health. Me: Pretty great when camping, too. @mcafeetogo

I giggle every time I hear someone say "penetration testing." I may have lots of guns but, I am still 12 years old. @mcafeetogo

Out of town relatives, like software developers, begin to get stinky after three days. At least you can underpay developers. mcafeetogo 

Screenshot of Twitter profile BoredElonMusk

Elon Musk

Who is he? Co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors; founder of SpaceX.

His real Twitter account: @elonmusk

Don’t be fooled by: @BoredElonMusk, @Plaid_Musk, @FakeElonMusk, @gangstaelonmusk

Sample parody tweets:

Shazam for relatives you can't quite remember while at family gatherings. @BoredElonMusk

There are rumors that I'm an alien trying to return to my home on Mars. This is untrue... I am content staying here in California, for now. @Plaid_Musk

Inter coastal Hyperloop from Boston to SF. Put all the snow in it, thwoop it over. California drought solved. @BoredElonMusk

Screenshot of Twitter profile DavidKrap

https://twitter.com/DavidKrap

Who is he? Founder and CEO of Tumblr

His real Twitter account: @davidkarp

Don’t be fooled by: @DavidKrap, @DaddyKarp

Sample parody tweets:

We will fix everything on tumblr..... except the video player. @DavidKrap

One more sherlock post and I'm deleting tumblr. @DavidKrap

What's the difference between tumblr and a restaurant? ...restaurant has a working server. @DavidKrap

Screenshot of Twitter profile notzuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Who is he? Co-founder, CEO of Facebook.

His real Twitter account: @finkd (unverified)

Don’t be fooled by: @notzuckerberg, @OfficialZucker, @fakezuckerberg,  @iamzuckerberg, @TheZuckenator, @1ZuckerbergMark, @MEZuckerberg

Sample parody tweets:

Happy ninth birthday to our annoying little brother, Twitter. Keep the stealable ideas coming, squirt. @notzuckerberg

1.39 billion Facebook users. If they were a country, they'd be the largest. And the most unproductive. But they would claim the highest GDP. @notzuckerberg

You're soon going to have to download our Messenger app to write Facebook messages. And you'll need a third app if you want to send them. @notzuckerberg

Screenshot of Twitter profile rmsthebot

Edward Snowden

Who is he? Former NSA contractor; famous NSA whistleblower.

His real Twitter account: No known Twitter account.

Don’t be fooled by: @FledwardSnowden, @snowdensnowedin

Sample parody tweets:

No one would have taken me seriously if I went by "Eddie." Just saying. @FledwardSnowden

Re-tweet if you believe in privacy laws and/or like ice cream. @FledwardSnowden

Reading Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country. Man, this stuff's really hitting home. #snowden #vonnegut #onthelam @snowdensnowedin

Screenshot of Twitter profile BillKingGates

Bill Gates

Who is he? Co-founder of Microsoft.

His real Twitter account: @BillGates

Don’t be fooled by: @BillKingGates, @Plaid_BGates, @GatessBill, @bxllgates, @Bill_Microsoft, @bill_gates, @lamBiIIGates, @EmperorBill

Sample parody tweets:

Counting money has taught me all the math I need to know @BillKingGates

I saw a bunch of people in line outside an Apple Store for the iPhone 6 and I fell asleep.. Turns out counting sheep really does work @BillKingGates

Can someone explain to me how Taylor Swift is a higher ranked world leader than me? @Plaid_BGates

Screenshot of Twitter profile Lean_Over

Sheryl Sandberg

Who is she? COO of Facebook; author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Her real Twitter account: @sherylsandberg

Don’t be fooled by: @Lean_Over, @SherylShambles

Sample parody tweets:

They're turning my book into a movie, and personally, I am just so excited to make so much more money! #LeanIn #LeanOver @Lean_Over

This year I'm giving my family the gift of love (it's free!) and myself the gift of a new Mercedes. #LeanOver @Lean_Over

I gave all my old Blackberries to my driver, my nanny, and my housekeeping staff! #givingback #leanover @Lean_Over