This Guy Used Twitter to Trick a Town Into Thinking He Was Their Mayor

This suspension of disbelief / crossover between reality and VR (which let’s face it, dear friends, Twitter can be) is the basic premise of my most recent story. But as ever, truth is stranger than fiction. I have a feeling more of these cases may crop up, as our minds expand to take on – as everyday routine – a world where they go, to leave our ‘other’ selves behind; at least temporarily, before reality kicks in (with questions asked in real-time, an account being shut down, etc.)

How very Anne McCaffrey. I’m not going down the Matrix road.


Look, we’ve all fallen victim to a carefully crafted Twitter hoax. These things happen. So we’ll try not to rag on the residents of Stafford, England, too much for letting some guy with a fake Twitter account convince them he was their mayor. Especially because, from the looks of it, he was pretty darn convincing.

The man created a profile with the following bio: “I’m James Billington, the current Mayor of Stafford. Delighted to be representing the town of Stafford & surrounding areas. Views are my own.” He began tweeting on March 8, and soon enough, convinced residents and local businesses that he was the mayor.

The “mayor” posted pictures of himself doing very mayor-y things, like performing a ribbon-cutting at a new theme park:

At times, he went…

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