A design director in the Bay Area of San Francisco has been outed as the person behind the fake @BPGlobalPR Twitter account.
His identity was revealed last night as Mike Monteiro (@mike_ftw ) by Wired magazine journalist writer Mat Honan (@mat). Monteiro is the design director and co-founder at Mule Design where his bio states “He excels in creating visual interface systems to aid navigation and clarify complex content. He’s also funny”.
Monteiro at first denied he was the voice behind the fake Twitter account tweeting: “For the record; I only post to TWO twitter accounts. This one and @muledesign. I have no secret or fake accounts. Have a nice day.”
However, later he admitted that he was the one who had been entertaining thousands with this comedy tweets and causing BP even more grief. He owned up to being behind the fake account with a tweet saying simply: “I give up.” He also posted on his blog: “Sigh. I’ve done all I can”. His most recent tweet was simply “”Fuck!!!”.
When we first reported on the fake Twitter account story earlier this week it had 35,000 followers. That has now doubled to more than 70,000.
@TerryBP has his own Twitter account with more than 5,300 followers and has denied knowing Monteiro, tweeting: “@wired – i never heard of mike_ftw. what a dumb thing to say. you’ve basically set your pickledick selves up to look like bad journalists.”
In the Mashable interview Terry claimed to work for BP and kept the act going: “I work for BP Global PR. The reason we do PR is very simple, it’s the best job you can have. You see, corporations screw up all the time. They are very worried that the screwups are going to cost them a lot of money. They pay people like me a TON of money to make it look like they’re doing stuff, but really we don’t have to do much except talk.”
It had previously been speculated that the person behind @BPGlobalPR could be working in comedy and some pointed to The Yes Men, Funny Or Die and CollegeHumor who all denied being involved.
Wired also tweeted the possibility that Monteiro had signed a book deal: “RT @mat: New speed record for Twitter/blog-to-book deal? Heard @Mike_FTW inked deal to publish book of his @BPGlobalPR tweets”.
The speed from tweeting to book deal would be a record and would follow in the footsteps of the satirical blog ‘The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs’, which was written by a fake Steve Jobs (journalist Dan Lyons). Lyons got a book and a TV pilot deal out of his activity and his blog is still going strong.
Although not a fake account, Justin Halpern got a book deal and a CBS sitcom deal for his tweets of ‘Shit My Dad Says’.
‘The Shit My Dad Says’ account has proved a big hit on Twitter attracting more than 1.3 million followers.
As the oil continues to spill BP’s real Twitter account, @BP_America is continuing to update and apparently is ignoring the fake Twitter account. It has not asked Twitter to take the account down (to its credit) although amusingly the @BPGlobalPR claims the official BP account is the fake.
In its most recent tweets @BPGlobalPR has offered president Obama one of its $25 BP Cares T-shirts, asked if it were possible to “start calling it the oilcean” and tweeted: “We plan on spending millions of dollars to fix this mess. We also plan on jacking gas prices so high that you’ll wish you never complained”.
UPDATE – CNET has an update of an update on this, Mat Honan and Mike Monteiro might both be joking. About the book and the authorship.It has been fun, but whichever way you look at it this routine has run its course. Will the real Slim Shady please stand-up.
I’d follow CNET’s advice and donate to the National Wildlife Federation to help in the clean-up.