(Image: Private Media)

Yesterday, #auspol Twitter got a little NSFW in an unexpected way. Former MP Tony Windsor took to Twitter to congratulate opposition leader Anthony Albanese for calling out a Sydney Morning Herald reporter for swallowing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “quotas and mandates” lines hook line and sinker.

“Anthony Albanese @albo is absolutely right to call this idiot from the @smh out…we are suffering from a serious decline in the capacity of some journalists to think about the issues. Who was the fool who asked the question?” he wrote.

Good points all around. The only problem is, the former member for Tamworth tagged the wrong @albo in his tweet, pointing his 71,000 Twitter followers to an NSFW account belonging to an Italian lewd comic artist who calls himself “Albo draws lewds”. 

Who knows what the artist from Lombardy thought of being dragged into a debate about journalism standards in Australia. Then again, by the looks of his cover photo, he is used to being confused for the leader of the opposition.

It’s not the first time Twitter handles have brought about some confusion. Many an innocent social media user has had to make their whole online identity around NOT being the brand or the person to whom many think their handle refers (poor @Coke). Here are three other VERY local examples.

Our Guy

Crikey’s own Guy Rundle isn’t present on the Twitterverse, but he’s obviously sought after, given that a user from Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK who shares his name has to explicitly state that he is “not an Australian writer”. His account is locked, so we can’t see if he too is a lewd comic artist as well, unfortunately.

Mr Smith

The world is full of Steve Smiths, but particularly the sporting world. Anecdotally, there are more Steve Smiths in professional sports than there are female cricketers who are paid a living wage. 

The big three are Steve Smith the retired NFL star turned NFL analyst (who has no Twitter account, but regularly trends on the platform), Steve Smith the former professional NBA player, now an analyst, and Steve Smith the Australian cricketer and former captain of the Australian test team. 

When all the Smiths simultaneously make the news, sports Twitter is a strange place.  

Then of course there are all the sports reporters who share the name, such as this Steve from New Zealand, who is just very sorry for the confusion:

Crikey! That’s not us

When you search under the hashtag #Crikey on Twitter you will inevitably come up with something Irwin related. We brought this on ourselves. 

But we apologise profusely to the @Crikey who is a mother of two boys, ICT compliance geek, and “not Australian online news source”, who we assume is showered with compliments and thoughtful commentary from Twitter fans who think she is Crikey News.

But back to Albo and his Italian counterpart — as with everything that happens online, if there’s a boring reason for something (eg. a simple tagging mistake) the internet will come up with a better explanation. And this one didn’t disappoint.

See how power works in this country.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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