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The account, which had nearly 50,000 followers prior to its suspension, sent out numerous tweets in an effort to convince users that it was actually run by the former NBA star’s wife.
Do you guys really think Vanessa Bryant would have “twitter official” in her bio? Cmon now 😒 And shame on you idiots for even following and interacting with that account pic.twitter.com/ZX3K8oyKpQ— 💜Shortney Love💛 (@scum_li) February 4, 2020
“Enjoy every second next to your loved ones, because you never know when they will leave this world,” one tweet from the account said. “Share my message. Thank you all for the support you give us.”
The bio for the page also made references to Bryant and the couple’s daughter Gigi, who tragically died alongside her father in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
“I love you and miss you Kobe and Gigi,” the page’s bio read. “You will always be my strength”
While many users appeared to be fooled, others were quick to call out the account.
“Whoever is running that fake Vanessa Bryant twitter account is a full on psycho,” Twitter user @cuervocuevs said.
Whoever is running that fake Vanessa Bryant twitter account is a full on psycho.— d shmoney🍯 (@cuervocuevs) February 4, 2020
you have to be a sick motherfucker to make a fake twitter account posing as vanessa bryant after this week— honi (@HoniAhm) February 4, 2020
This is not Vanessa Bryants Twitter. A) She does not have one. B) Kobe Bryant's Twitter account does not follow this one. Every1 REPORT this clout chasing account. So disrespectful.— Kobe "8/24/2" Valentine (@CobyValentine) February 4, 2020
Of all the rotten, despicable things--to set up a FAKE Vanessa Bryant twitter account?? Sometimes, most of the time, I hate social media so much. People will stoop to unbelievable lows if they think they can remain anonymous with no accountability.— Amy Lawrence (@ALawRadio) February 5, 2020
Reported that fake Vanessa Bryant twitter account and that shit got taken down— Vela's Left Foot SG (@The_LA_Wanderer) February 5, 2020
The things people do for fame and clout. Sad people in this world!
The Daily Dot reached out to Twitter for comment on the suspension but did not hear back by publication time.
Although Vanessa Bryant does have a verified Instagram account, she does not appear to have an official account on Twitter.
Under Twitter’s rules and guidelines, impersonation has long been forbidden on the platform.
“Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules,” the company’s website states. “Twitter accounts that pose as another person, brand, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under Twitter’s impersonation policy.”
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.