@BPGlobalPR Tweeter’s Identity Revealed

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Earlier this year, the fake Twitter account @BPGlobalPR became a minor sensation when its bite-sized, witty, pseudocorporate “releases” about BP’s aloof denials of responsibility in the wake of the Gulf oil leak. With more than 190,000 followers and endless retweets, BPGlobalPR became a powerful enough force on the social Internets that the real BP pushed to get the account more clearly marked as satire.

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Now, the guy behind the account has stepped forward and revealed himself to be comedian Josh Simpson, formerly of Funny or Die.

Over at The Awl, Mat Honan, who was enmeshed in the BPGlobalPR saga from early on due to some faulty, rumory media reporting, got the first interview:

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. One morning, on May 19, I saw a video on Huffington Post where a CBS reporter was told by the U.S. Coast Guard that if they didn’t get off the beach they’d be arrested. When the reporter asked how the Coast Guard could do that on a public beach, they responded, “it’s BP’s rules.”

It was very obvious to me BP was more worried about its image than about actually letting people see and understand what was happening on the Gulf. 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.

More at The Awl.


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