Key plays the April fool

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, April 1st, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , ,

Someone’s set up a swag of fake Twitter accounts under the names of Labour MPs. Apparently Labour came across these on Monday at the latest and wrote to Twitter telling them the accounts were fake.

But no-one, including his staff, told John Key the tweets were obvious forgeries.

So he jumped up in Parliament today and tried to table one of these fake tweets supposedly from David Cunliffe. Only to end up looking a fool when Cunliffe showed the letter from Monday to Twitter.

Good on you Key’s staff. Using Twitter you’ve made Key look a total twit.

[update: the exchange in parliament is here. the fake twitter is here. It’s one of five set up at the same time and then ‘discovered’ a few days later by the minor Nat blogger who obviously created them]

30 comments on “Key plays the April fool”

  1. BLiP 1

    Hehehehe – excellent! Best news all week. And this is the master mind behind New Zealand’s broadband expansion!! Mind you, did we need more evidence that John Key is a twit?

  2. gingercrush 2

    But that isn’t what happened. It was clear they were fake and the reason Goff basically threatened disorder at the Speaker was because Key blatantly referenced untrue statements made by Cunliffe in regards to Goff’s leadership.. That is what caused such commotion and its why in the end Cunliffe had to make a personal statement.

  3. Quoth the Raven 3

    Cunliffe said in general debate the fake accounts were set up by a right wing blogger. Any guesses? Cameron Slater possibly?

  4. George Darroch 4

    What kind of stupid fakery was it?

  5. Treb 5

    Do you think we’re thick Inventory2?

    The fact that the twitters were all set up at the same time and you ‘stumbled on them’ days later is such a give away. In future what you want to do is wait a month and then tip off friendly blog. one people actually read. then your publicity source has plausible deniablity.


    • Believe what you want Treb – I would love to be able to claim the credit for this, but alas, t’wasn’t me. I kinda wish it had been. As I said in my first post on the matter, all these accounts popped up after Labour’s trip to the West Coast. And I didn’t “stumble on them” – as I blogged, I got an e-mail from Twitter saying that Cosgrove was following me – flippin’ heck – I’m not used to that kind of attention! Of course I was curious, and after going to Cosgroves so-called profile, within 30 seconds I’d found a whole lot more based on who he was following, and who was following him. It was hardly rocket science!

      As for your first question – I couldn’t possibly comment 😉

      PS “amatuer” is actually spent amateur

  6. Treb 6

    That’s how its “spent” eh 🙂

    Why would Cosgrove be following you?

    Doesn’t stack up.

    • I dunno Treb – but I was flattered! What would YOU do if an e-mail like this just arrived, unsolicited in your in-box?

      “Hi, Inventory2 (Inventory2).

      Ccosgrove (ccosgrovemp) is now following your updates on Twitter.

      Check out Ccosgrove’s profile here:

      You may follow Ccosgrove as well by clicking on the “follow” button.

      Me, I went looking

  7. Daveo 7

    That’s possible, but not really plausible. There are far easier ways to get a fake twitter account noticed than signing it up to some nobody blogger’s feed and hoping he does a post on it. Your story simply doesn’t stack up.

    What seems more likely to me is you thought you’d play a trick on them but you got too clever. Now that it’s blown back in your face and you’ve made a right pillock out of Key you’re desperately denying all involvement. Unfortunately you’re not convincing anyone.

  8. PaulL 8

    Nice conspiracy theory guys, but I don’t buy it. Sure, somebody probably set them up and thought they were funny. Sure, somebody decided to set them up as following some of the various blogs, probably hoping that someone would notice their joke.

    Disbelieve Inventory if you want, no skin of my nose. But I don’t see what you think he’d gain from doing that himself.

    Will you all be on here apologising to Inventory when someone works out the real culprit? Or will you bluster and blow about how your position was reasonable? Go on, if you’re so sure, make a promise to apologise if you’re wrong.

  9. lprent 9

    I don’t buy it either. It really isn’t I2’s style. However since he seems to have a number of people following him, I suspect that he was meant to be the patsy.

    Who did it? Who cares who set them up. Twitter will probably supply the IP(‘s) and time involved if requested. But it gets a bit pointless. Essentially the systems are completely open and it can be reproduced at will.

    To raise this type of obvious identity hijacking in parliament deliberately is too stupid for words (which is what gingercrush suggested). I think that the simpler hypothesis that John Key didn’t know is far more likely.

    What was more interesting than who did them was that John Key was idiotic enough to treat them as the genuine article. Don’t his staff have any brains? Is he surrounded by incompetents (his staff, not the cabinet who obviously are)? If so then someone shows poor judgment in selecting them.

    • Thanks Lynn – you’re right. Even though I blog under a pseudonym (for genuine reasons – to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, an in-vogue phrase at the moment), I try to be honest and open about my views and opinions. Falsifying documents and identities (other than my own psuedonym) isn’t my style, for many reasons.

      Anyway, this little cameo-drama brightened up my day no end 🙂

  10. PaulL 10

    Why would John Key care if they’re real or not? Either way it provided a bunch of amusement at Labour’s expense. It was never going to be all that exciting anyway. Next you’ll tell me you cared whether the quote from Key about reducing incomes was true – we know and you know it was either a misspeak or a misquote, but didn’t stop you replaying it over and over. You can hardly come over the virgin now.

    • mj 10.1

      ‘why would John Key care if they were real or not?’ – wow low expectations from the man, eh?

      were you one of the ones coming up with crazy theories about how the secret tapes weren’t real?

  11. gingercrush 11

    I think I’m having an April Fools hangover because every website I’m currently on is in crazy mode and I seriously can’t decipher what is April Fools and what isn’t. As it is very evident Key knew all along the twitter pages were fake.

    • Tigger 11.1

      Okay, so he’s not a doofus, he’s a jokester – we’re in the middle of an economic meltdown and Key thinks it’s fine to waste Parliament’s time with joke Twitters?

      Honestly, he’s already presiding over a government of buffoons…no need to add insult to injury.

  12. lyndon 12

    Know wouldn’t be much of a defence (and listening it didn’t occur to me that it might have been the case anyway). If Key knew they were fake, and tried to table “David Cunliffe’s Twitter statement”
    that would be misleading the house.

    And I thought according to international rules, if you try it after noon, then you are the fool.

  13. infused 13

    Twitter is crap full stop.

  14. Watch as kiwiblog desperately tries to claim labour looks stupid for this…

  15. What is all the fuss about? Just a bit of harmless fun I would have thought. And I bet Keeping Stock is quaffing champers tonight with the surge in hits on his blog.

    • Inventory2 15.1


      But I see I’m still being held as the guilty party BB -, except by lprent

      Pass the bubbles please …


  16. And they are twittering up a storm tonight apparently

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