Today's Not a Good Day to Be George Papadopoulos on Twitter
This is the story of two George Papadopouloses. The first is a former campaign advisor for President Trump, who made a plea deal Monday in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The second is a CPA with an office near a Best Buy in Novi, Michigan. One admitted to making false statements to federal officials; the other is having a helluva day on Twitter trying to explain he’s not wrapped up in the latest legal and political intrigue—in fact, he’s not even in the country.
Not Trump Advisor Papadopoulos is actually in Greece, where he was having lunch with his mother when the news about the Mueller investigation broke. Within minutes, his Twitter mentions began to fill with references to the other guy. By the time he got a good Wi-Fi connection in the small town in which he’s staying, he already had a “tsunami/deluge of tweets” which he says shows no sign of slowing down and leading him to, in his words, a pretty sucky Monday.
“I always wondered what it would be like to have something you post go viral,” Papadopoulos says via email. “But I never imagined it to be something with your name associated with words like indictment … and lying to the FBI.”
This, of course, isn’t the first case of Twitter mistaken identity. There’s @WillSmith, who is actually the CEO of Foo VR and not the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. There’s the @hillary, who is not a Clinton. There’s also a @mikepence, who is not the vice president. Those people’s mentions go to shambles off and on, as people make @ reply mistakes, or the people with whom they share a name have a big day in the news. But for Papadopoulos, whose counterpart hadn’t gained international recognition until today, the onslaught was sudden and extreme—and it included his mentions filling up with questions about his voting record and words like "treason."
Papadopoulos, whose handle is actually @feeonlyplanner, but who pops up when users search for "George Pa…” is seemingly taking it in stride. After sending out a tweet telling everyone that he has “NO association with the Trump camp!” he went on to respond to several tweets with good humor saying “for many years people have associated my name with a character on the old TV show Webster. And I used to hate it. Now … it does not seem bad” and “I used to hate my name while taking exams. Now this name association has become a nightmare, sad!”
The irony, Papadopoulos says, is that while his name seems to be somewhat unique on Twitter, it’s not in Greece. “Heck, just today I ran into two cousins of mine with the same name,” he says, adding that he’s not the only one affected by this case of mistaken social-media identity.
“I feel for my wife back in the US,” he says. “[She’s] in charge of getting my phone messages.”
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