IMITATION may be considered the highest form of flattery, but Miss Clare has admitted being a “bit creeped out” when someone took it a step further and set up a fake Twitter account using her name and photo.
The Clare beauty queen, physiotherapy student, camogie player and model discovered the impersonator after she heard her name read out on a regional radio station as the winner in a competition she didn’t even enter.
She joked with followers on her own Twitter account @GuilfoyleLauren that there must be another Lauren Guilfoyle “out there” on the social network and she was already familiar with a namesake in Laois.
Curiosity led her to investigate online a bit more, only to discover another Twitter account with her name and photo. She had not set up the account.
The fake account @GuLauren is Irish according to the scant information supplied and the profile photo is one of Miss Clare’s photos in which Lauren is wearing a red swimsuit.
The fake account has just three followers – three teenage girls it would appear, and follows 14 people, mostly female teenage accounts from England and pop stars and actors.
There are just two retweets including one from X-Factor winner James Arthur, leading Ms Guilfoyle to tweet on her official account “apparently they like a bitta James Arthur” and adding “#creep #findyyourownpersonalityhun__”.
Ms Guilfoyle is not overly concerned about the account for now, and has not reported it to Twitter as yet.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter believes fake accounts represent fewer than five per cent of its 230 million active users. Independent researchers believe the number is higher.
It is understood that there are millions of fake accounts on Twitter run on a “robot system” by individuals to simulate Twitter users accounts for a fee.
They tweet; retweet, or forward, other tweets; send and reply to messages; and follow and unfollow other Twitter accounts, among other actions.
Some entertainers pay for fake followers, but false accounts can be political tools as well.
There is also a fear that catfish use fake Twitter and Facebook accounts to dupe people into thinking they are someone they are not online and build a relationship with them.