There is a new service that will become a pain for athletic departments, particularly the compliance office. Let Me Tweet That For You is a service that lets you spoof a tweet from any Twitter user. It generates a realistic looking image of a fake tweet, complete with avatars, Twitter’s links and buttons, even fake favorite and retweet counts. Here’s an example someone made of a fake tweet by me:
I just linked to the image on Let Me Tweet That For You’s website, so there are some giveaways (beyond the text of the tweet), like the “lemmetweet” username in the image link. If I wanted to spoof something more completely, I would have downloaded the image and saved it to a different server with a different title.
You can quickly see the ways a service like this can create mischief. Athletes tweeting their involvement in NCAA violations or racist thoughts. Coaches tweeting at prospects. Athletic directors tweeting about coaches’ job status. All faked.
The best part of the scam is that any faked tweet can claim to be a screenshot of a deleted tweet. So by definition, the victim of the hoax has no evidence of something they did not do. It would be one person’s word against another person’s word and fake evidence. On the other hand, it also makes it easier for someone to deny something they said on Twitter; delete the tweet and claim any screenshot was faked.
According to Poynter, the site was created a year ago but was found and became popular again. I don’t remember the site making much of a stir when it launched, so maybe it will fade away quickly. If not, it makes anything someone is reporting based on only a Twitter screenshot suspect.