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Horse racing enthusiast Edward Snowden is having a bad week on Twitter

This Twitter user is not the Edward Snowden you're looking for.


Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 10, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 1:49 pm CDT

It’s a rough day to be Edward Snowden. Any Edward Snowden.

The man who leaked classified documents indicating the National Security Agency and FBI have direct access to the servers of several Internet companies revealed his identity over the weekend.

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower of the PRISM program is not a unique snowflake. At least not by name.

There is an @edwardsnowden on Twitter. It is not the Snowden at the heart of this case. Nor is it a parody account.

This Snowden is an estate agent, a lover of soccer and horse racing, and thinks of himself as a “good egg.” He’s also contended with the flood of mentions cluttering his Twitter connect column over the last day.

He’s been urged to hire a good lawyer and flee to Ecuador. One Twitter user said he’s “the 1st MAN in the @usa that I’ve seen with Integrity and Bravery combined.” Another claimed “he’s a phucking mold [mole]. Hand his ass over to the taliban or terrorist.”

Snowden—the one who’s never worked as a highly paid spy for the U.S. government—handed the tweets in good humor. It’s kind of fun to read through Snowden’s tweets as he comes to understand just why he’s subject of so much interest right now. To wit:

@brianmfloyd no idea what anyone is going on about! Sounds interesting though.

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

@rajunarisetti @guardian no idea about this topic – will be watching the news tonight though!

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

@wesleymoorejr ha thank you: think people will quickly realise that as I tweet about horse racing and football/soccer!!

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

@neils82 I just need to develop a sense of humour to keep everyone amused!

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

@justicewillett well observed! Still been a busy evening though.

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

The debate is whether to work today or respond to all the tweets! I know nothing about NSA or whistle blowing so will stick to selling homes

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 10, 2013

@policygal no need for it not to be – people good fun and good banter in the main. :)

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 10, 2013

Snowden—who did not expose a large-scale surveillance operation involving some of the world’s largest Internet firms—is also wondering how the saga might affect his travel plans to the U.S. in future.

@elilanger ha – that’s my holidays to the USA ruined!

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

@brianmfloyd @elilanger me too. Going to have some good banter with the guys on the immigration desks – they might even smile.

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 10, 2013

What’s the chances of me getting a green card at the moment?

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 10, 2013

Snowden might thank the Guardian for the attention, and diverting some of the negativity that might have been headed his way. The paper, which has made most of the revelations in this story, pointed out this is not the guy the U.S. is looking for.

As if being confused for the man responsible for a massive leak wasn’t enough, Snowden was also accused of being in a slightly embarrassing photo.

@haralddoornbos hahaha class! That’s not me but @rickfothergill and @jimbop7will happily answer your questions!

— Edward Snowden (@EdwardSnowden) June 9, 2013

And in case you’re wondering, the Snowden at the heart of the news quite understandably does not use Twitter or Facebook.

Photo via Effervescing Elephant/Flickr

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*First Published: Jun 10, 2013, 12:17 pm CDT