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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Offbeat Travelogue: Dawn of the Twittering Dead

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It’s been a long, long time since Walski did an Offbeat Travelogue post. But this one really had to be done. Best of all, Walski didn’t even have to go anywhere.

As you may have noticed, Walski is now on Twitter – poster child of instant Web 2.0 social messaging. The rule of thumb when it comes to Twitter is that whomever follows you, you follow back. Okay, there are exceptions when he won’t, but 9 times out of 10 Walski will.

Well guess who decided to add Walski? None other than the late Altantuya Shariibuu, the Mongolian lady who was brutally murdered in 2006, and goes by the handle @Altantuya. As if that weren’t freaky enough, here’s what he got in the mail a couple of days ago.

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Unfortunately, she’s kinda beyond help. At least, not within Walski’s capability to assist. But he had to pop this question… 
(Twittering from the great beyond, and more, in the full post)

Well, so far no reply from the deceased. Probably too busy being dead, or worse Twittering from the great beyond.

You see, @Altantuya, when not making distress tweets to Walski (and who knows whom else) usually tweets about Malaysian political news and events. Until receiving the spooky tweet, Walski really didn’t realize just how pervasive the Internet had become…

And despite being dead, having 404 followers is impressive. Even Walski doesn’t have that many. Forty more followers, and a lot of ethnic Chinese Twitterers will be very impressed. One of the benefits, he supposes, of being a dead celebrity…

Okay, okay… we all know that there is someone still breathing behind this Twitter account. And truth be told, it struck Walski as being rather amusing, especially thinking about the extrapolated possibilities, in particular, this one: that even after we’ve kicked this mortal coil, Internet junkies won’t have to suffer ‘Net withdrawals.

It also makes Walski wonder if the broadband speeds in the afterlife are better than what we experience in Malaysia while still alive.

On a separate, but related note, since the use of Twitter has increased exponentially of late, there recently have been many articles published on the code of conduct and ethics vis-a-vis Twitter.

However, none of them touches on whether or not it’s ethical to impersonate a dead person… or parrot.