March 26, 2009
OK, so this whole thing started when you took over a Twitter account called “CWalken” run by the culture blog Clusterflock, and changed the password without telling anyone. How involved are you with Clusterflock? Why did you decide to take over the CWalken Twitter account and without telling anyone there? Did you tell them after you took it over?
Great question. I am actually only peripherally involved with Clusterflock (see question 1). I was more active in the past but due to privacy issues and professional conflicts I became a more marginal participant (posting under different names — eventually under the anonymous Christoper Walken account primarily). The core members of Clusterflock have always been a sensitive and welcoming group and, while I’ve never met any of them in person, I’ve admired them almost as a quirky extended family. As for Twitter — believe it or not I never told the group that I’d taken over the account. It’s important to keep in mind that only one or two of us even knew what Twitter was at the time and that the account had sat inactive for months before I started playing with it. This was not a dramatic power play by any means.
Why did I take it and not tell anyone? Complicated in a boring way. At first I left the access alone and posted using the shared account information thinking that the feed could be a fun improvisational exchange. No-one else participated but it didn’t matter anyway. I think we had a good 40-50 followers so the stage was pretty insignificant.
Given that I was the only person posting to the feed, the updates took on a consistency that one might expect from a single-owner account. It wasn’t exactly a source of pride for me but I was satisfied with what I was writing. One day a visitor came by, logged in, and posted a rape-themed “tweet” that was vile, ugly and hateful. I deleted the post, changed the password and waited for someone to ask my why. No one ever did.
So — for the following months I quietly posted my “cwalken” posts for my amusement and as a subtle prank — not a prank on the world but a brotherly prank on my buddies at Clusterflock.
Something happened a couple of weeks ago and everybody showed up. Now it’s a little weird and would appear to be a “hoax” on a much larger scale. And maybe it is now but it wasn’t supposed to be.
That’s the last you’ll hear about these hijinks from me. Carry on.
UPDATE: The above sentence is, obviously, a lie.