Leave it to Joe Biden. After a year of contentious debate followed by 36 hours of talking heads trying to make sense of what the health care overhaul means, the Veep’s tidy summary was at once true, painfully obvious, hilarious, and in character with the caricature of Biden as an elder Dan Quayle redux… Which meant that the internet would have a field day with it.
Within hours, the Twitter feed @BigFnDealer was mocking Biden and chronicling the reactions. This comes just a few months after Carly Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep” web video spawned @DemonSheep. And @BOTeleprompter has been mocking Biden’s boss just about as long as the President has been in office. Sarah Palin and Michael Steel have been targeted.
Fake Twitter have been giving alter egos to characters both fictional (@DarthVader) and real (@Michael_Bay) since Twitter launched. They have generally been a hobby, but as the political examples show, they can also be a way to advance a message in a comic, snarky way. Because they are generally anonymous, they are tough to engage unless the account owner does something stupid (like trying to claim the actual identity of the person being mocked).
As @BigFnDealer shows, getting in on the ground floor is a necessity – the internet moves fast. And of course, satire only works as a powerful message advancement tool if it’s good; lame jokes tend to backfire.
But when it works, what better way to needle your opponent than to put words in his or her mouth?