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Fake tweet site LetMeTweetThatForYou could have real implications for Web journalism

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To say Twitter has a fake account problem is a gross understatement. If you want to contribute to the problem, LetMeTweetThatForYou is the first place to turn – and the tool has found some new life courtesy of its sudden trendiness on Twitter as Poynter notes.

The site is a year old, and developed by OKFocus, a New York City marketing agency, as a marketing campaign.  The app received some attention around its launch but never became a viral hit. 

Using the site is simple. Pick a Twitter username (any existing username) and it automatically pulls from Twitter’s database and auto generates the correct profile picture that goes with the account that you’ve identified. The beauty of the site is that you can write anything as an impersonator, although the catch is that LetMeTweetThatFor You allows you to write as many characters as your heart desires – so if you really want to pass your content off as real, you’ll have to manually count those characters. 

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The date, number of retweets and favorites, are also customizable. Now if you create a fake tweet the site superimposes the tweet on a page with the background auto-generated from the current background used by the person you’re impersonating and the site’s title in bold letters, along with other junk. In other words you can’t just send a link to the tweet since it’s too easy to identify the tweet as a fake. So where the site comes in handy is when you screen shot the tweet and try to play the tweet off as something legitimately said but later deleted. That’s the crux of this whole thing: Journalism and reporting are increasingly relying on and referencing tweets as sources and evidence, and the ability to quickly fake this information and capture it with a screenshot could have some pretty serious implications for the field of Web publishing. 

LetMeTweetThatForYou hasn’t kept up with Twitter’s redesigns since last year, so now it’s rather obvious that the tweet would be fake if it’s chalked up to be from this year. April Fool’s is right around the corner, though, so maybe you can slip something by the legions of tweeters.