Scrolling through one’s twitter feed, it’s easy to fall victim to the tricksters and the trolls, the pranksters and the punks. Some accounts make a living off of fooling folks into thinking one thing while actually meaning another. Others are more so bullies, picking on the weaker accounts for flaws in logic or missteps in language.
And then, of course, there are the fake accounts, which is where the focus of this story lies. Who’s real and who’s an imposter? Can we really trust anyone on that website to be who they say they are? Why isn’t there some sort of verification process or symbol that notifies users when an account is the “real deal?”
I, unfortunately along with countless others, have been fooled by the fakes. Though I’ve been on twitter since 2009, I can, just as easily as others, let my guard down and be duped by a phoney trying to impersonate a media member or celebrity for their own amusement. It’s sick. It’s perverse. It’s downright wrong, and, in my honest opinion, should have serious legal consequences. But alas, we’re on our own out here, left to use our god-given instincts to discover what’s reality and what’s nonsense.
So my friends, I went on a quest to discover if everyone’s favorite Philadelphia radio personality and all around good guy Howard Eskin is, in fact, like some claim he is, on twitter.
There is an account on the website, @HowardEskin, that claims to be “the real Howard.” Constantly, it points to the fact that it’s “verified” (whatever that really means) to prove that it is indeed the real Howard Eskin, of WIP radio fame, who’s behind the digital mask. There are posts after posts of this so-called “real account” claiming to be the Howard Eskin we all love. See below.
Is this the real Howard?
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) July 3, 2014
Is this really the real Howard?
Howard isn’t on twitter I don’t think.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) June 3, 2014
How can we be sure who is real?
This is not verification. I need verification to know Howard is really him.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) December 30, 2012
I’m not getting fooled by a fake account again I refuse. Who is the real Howard Eskin?
I don’t think Howard Eskin is on twitter.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) July 21, 2012
This could just as easily be a fake pretending to be the real Howard Eskin.
@YR_Reese verified now let’s people know who is the real howard eskin — Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) February 10, 2012
Howard Eskin twitter account…a fake?
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) January 28, 2012
Why won’t the real Howard come forth and say if he is real or not?
How can we know for sure?
So after all this, you see we’ve come to no real conclusion. Is this account the real Howard Eskin on twitter or is it simply a fake jerk posing as the one and only Howard Eskin on twitter? Can’t be sure.
In order to discover if the Real Howard Eskin™ is on twitter even at all, I asked Howard’s son Spike Eskin on twitter for the truth. I know it’s the real Spike because his account is verified so I know that it’s him. He had this to share with me…
“I am not sure if my dad is on twitter,” Spike said. “I have asked the twitter account @HowardEskin if it is my dad, and he says yea, but I can’t really be sure if it is actually him. Don’t know.”
Once again, I was stumped. I needed to go to the source. I needed to find the real Howard and ask him to prove to me that it is actually him, on twitter. And there’s only one way to do that.
I made my way on over to the FOX29 studios on East Market and snuck in the back door, looking for any signs I could find that it’s the real Howard Eskin who runs the @HowardEskin twitter account. I was willing to risk my own well-being and safety to find out the truth; I needed to know. I can’t live a life not knowing if I was being suckered by another false account.
So after sidestepping WXTF’s Mike Jerrick and Kacie McDonnell (hi Kacie) I made my way back into the cubicles where I saw in the distance the sleeve of what appeared to be a men’s mink coat. I knew I had found it — Howard’s desk.
I stealthily made my way on over to the desk with the fabulous fur to find, in the flesh, the real Howard Eskin typing away at his computer. It was a spectacle to be seen. Covering the space were Howard bobbleheads, fur coat repair kits, “I <3 The King” bumper stickers and photos of Howard posing with various local celebs such as Angelo Cataldi, former Philadelphia Mayor John Street, Curt Schilling, among others.
Anxiously, I went over and tapped Howard on the shoulder.
“Howard?” I asked.
“Yeah?” he replied.
“Are you the real Howard Eskin from the radio?”
“May I ask you a question? Do you operate the twitter account @HowardEskin? It claims to be you, but I have some serious doubts. There are so many fakes on that website I want to know if it’s the real Howard I’m talking to or just some nitwit pretending to be you, the King.”
“Yeah it’s me you can tell because I’m verified. Look, I’m typing on the account right now. See?”
“OK, thank you Howard.”
So there I was, standing there like and idiot with no new information and no verification.
And, unfortunately, here we remain. Still left with no answer and no where closer to knowing if the real Howard is on twitter or not. It is simply impossible to know if it is really the real Howard Eskin from the radio who’s operating the twitter account @HowardEskin. It hurts me to say it but, we most likely will never know if it is him.
This doesn’t mean I will end my search for answers, though. No, quite the contrary. I will have to work harder than ever to unearth the truth about Howard and find out if it is, in fact, for certain, the real Howard Eskin on twitter.
The search continues.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) July 3, 2014
This is troubling. When prompted to respond to this article, the self-proclaimed real Howard twitter account refused to confirm his identity to Philly Complex’s @Goinghard_inger. We’ve made no new progress here.
Follow Joe M on twitter at @dr_pizza_MD.