This weekend saw a flurry of Biffer-related activity on social media, especially Twitter as a new account purporting to be owned by Deputy Fuhrer, Jayda Fransen took to our computer screens. To say that it was hilarious seems like too much of an understatement to tell the truth. It was better than hysterical. It was one of the funniest excursions into social media stupidity that many of us can remember. And there’s a reason for that. It was a Poe… maybe.
An internet Poe is named after ‘Poe’s law’. The idea, originally developed in online arguments between evolutionists and creationist is that it’s often difficult to know when someone is joking, no matter how ridiculous their statements are. In fact, in online discussions across social media the only real way to be sure someone doesn’t mean what they say is to wait for them to come clean and tell you so.
It’s the inherent plausibility of Poes that make them so funny. If you know from the start that an account is false because nobody would be so stupid as to say THAT then the humour is lost. Only when the fake account looks like the real thing, matching the writing style, the attitude and the level of stupidity of the named individual does the joke work. And that’s exactly what happened this weekend… assuming it really was a Poe.
The new ‘Jayda’ account (@JaydaFransenBF) certainly claimed to be Frau Fransen’s own social media outlet. And it certainly mirrored the sort of rubbish she’d normally come out with. Matching that degree of stupidity without going so far over the top that it becomes obvious may seem easy but most hoaxers would agree that there can be a fine line between plausibly funny and utterly unbelievable. The @JaydaFransenBF Twitter account hit that ‘hard to find’ nail squarely on the head!
The account even asked that tweets linking her to a nonsensical Easter Egg ‘scandal’ be removed, presumably for fear of making her look more stupid than she did already.
She tweeted about Muslims, of course and perhaps most hilariously of all, remarked that Malcolm X, the famous Muslim civil rights campaigner would have been a Biffer. And as you might expect, the good people of Twitter went to town.
so much so that the account was removed a few days after its creation.
And that leaves us all with a question… was it the real Jayda Fransen or an elaborate hoax?
Britain First would have us believe that the account was a fake.
But they would say that, wouldn’t they?
Jayda (presumably the real one) goes so far as to instruct us to check with the Britain First page to find out which accounts are genuine and which are not, helpfully providing a link to the site.
Here we see a list of the genuine Biffer Twitter accounts, helpfully provided to prevent us from making just this sort of mistake. There’s only one problem…
A quick excursion into the internet cache shows the same page as it appeared on Saturday (before people started having a go at @JaydaFransenBF). Here only one Twitter account (@BritainFirst) is listed, despite the other two ‘official’ accounts being considerably older. This looks suspiciously like hastily developed damage limitation to us.
The question is – was the damage caused by the fact that people thought that @JaydaFransenBF was Fransen’s real account or by the fact that it actually WAS Fransen’s real account.
We’ll probably never know. What we do know is that Britain First’s attempt to criticise people for not checking the official BF page to verify the account is both disingenuous and dishonest (what a surprise) since they wouldn’t have been able to do so until well after the event in any case.
Whatever the truth of the matter may be there’s one thing the Biffers can’t deny.
This account only received the publicity it did because it plausibly COULD have been Jayda Fransen herself. It spouted precisely the sort of ill-informed, ill-considered and ill-judged rubbish the Deputy Fuhrer herself does in person at rallies and on BF promotional videos.
If it looks like a fool
And it tweets like a fool
It’s a fool!