In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, celebrities and politicians the world over decided to pay their own tributes.

Many did so on Twitter - including Britain's Foreign Secretary, David "Banana Boy" Miliband.

Or so we thought.

Britain's Sky News has been showing the Twitter messages on Wacko Jacko's death left by famous people, including this by Miliband: "Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael."

But it turns out that the message WASN'T from the Foreign Secretary. It was from an imposter who has been impersonating him since January.

This is known as Twitterjacking (yet another trendy new word that will soon become an official word of the English language).

The fake British Foreign Secretary has recently been posting his views on swine flu, Billy Joel's birthday and party politics.

Jackson death exposes fake David Miliband 'Twitterjacker' (but not before Sky News fell for it)

By Daily Mail Reporter (external - login to view)
26th June 2009
Daily Mail

The real David Miliband: Although the Foreign Secretary does blog, he does not have a Twitter account

As celebrities lined up to leave heart-felt tributes to Michael Jackson, David Miliband apparently wanted to add his own thoughts.

Among the tributes to the late singer, Sky News last night included a message allegedly from the Foreign Secretary's Twitter account, which read: 'Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael.'

However, this 'David Miliband' is an impostor, who has been masquerading as the British Foreign Secretary since January - in a form of identity theft known as Twitterjacking.

'It's not true, it's a hoax,' a Foreign Office spokesman told Mail Online.

'Whoever this person is has posted false reports in the past.

'David Miliband does not have a Twitter account, although he does write blogs.

'We have been checking it since it started. We used to find it amusing.'

The charade was only discovered after Sky published the fake comments and newspapers used the remark in online tributes to the King of Pop.

The Foreign Office does have its own Twitter account, but Mr Miliband does not 'tweet' or post from it.

Over the past few months, the fake Miliband, who this afternoon had 2,016 followers, has posted musings on themes including:

Party politics: 'A certain Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Peter Mandelson) just called me his "comrade"; reminds me of the good old days.'

'Another idea from Eyebrows, sack all the drivers and use McDonalds staff instead.

He reckons Reagan would have done it. No Al!'

'Being at the centre of history in the making is both an honour and a curse.'

Swine flu: 'Has been fielding calls from the Mexican embassy all day. Tired.'

Billy Joel: 'Happy early birthday Billy Joel. Radio 2 salutes you! Remember, only the good die young Draper.'

Enlarge Twitterjacked: The fake account set up in David Miliband's name contains 'tweets' posted since January

The Foreign Secretary is one of several victims of Twitterjacking, where users set up fake accounts in someone else's name.

Some of the accounts are closed down or suspended by the site after complaints or threats of legal action, including one set up in R&B star Kanye West.

An account has been set up in former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's name, with high profile global figures including George Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Mugabe even attracting the attentions of anonymous online posters.

But others have made use of the networking facility, including Children's Secretary Ed Balls and Minister of State for Innovation and Skills David Lammy, to keep in touch with their constituents.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 28th, 2009 at 01:02 PM..