Just when we thought things on the Manti Te'o/Lennay Kekua front were over, they got weird again. Earlier this month, an unknown individual assumed control of Manti Te'o's deleted Twitter account, recreated its appearance, and started tweeting. The tweets weren't original, though; they were recycled from Te'o's own words, including some to Lennay Kekua.
That the account is ersatz should be immediately obvious; Te'o never tweeted dozens of times in a single day, like the impostor has. Furthermore, the content of the tweets—if you don't already recognize them from our previous coverage—obviously refers to events from several months ago.
Somehow, this individual obtained the complete Te'o tweet archive, started spamming it out over the course of three days, and gathered several hundred followers (including some noteworthy and Twitter-verified names) along the way. After three weeks, the impostor spoke up again—claiming to be Te'o and finally explaining his reactivation:
Reactivated my account but lost all my followers. Retweet this to help me out! Thanks for all the support over the last couple months #808— Manti Te'o (@MTeo_5) March 28, 2013
It was all very confusing to Brian Te'o, Manti's father. He tried to engage the impostor, to no avail:
@mteo_5 Just spoke to my son....who the hell are you?— Brian Te'o (@Laiepoint) March 30, 2013
Still, it's remarkable that the person had access to so many tweets from a deleted profile, and that they went to all the work to put them back up. We'll keep an eye on things, and if the man behind the curtain ever reveals himself, we'll be on it. For what it's worth, the early followers of a fake account can often give clues as to who's behind it. Here are those three people.