A few weeks ago, we brought up a series of burning questions relating to the sudden disappearance of the spectacularly weird @RealJesseCamp Twitter account. Now, after exhaustive investigation, we bring you a series of burning answers about the whole debacle, courtesy of a very obliging Jesse Camp, his sister Marisha, and the actual guy behind the whole thing.
1) @RealJesseCamp was shut down by the actual Jesse Camp, who was not involved with the account.
The answer here, unfortunately, was the most obvious one: the real Jesse didn’t want to be credited with the increasingly manic, vaguely sinister work of RealJesse. Unlike his alter ego, Jesse Camp wouldn’t hurt a fly, or more specifically, start feuds with B-list comedians and unsuspecting retail employees. Camp’s sister Marisha, who largely spearheaded efforts to shut down the account, explains:
“[@RealJesseCamp] started writing things about some guy that he hated at a Guitar Center in LA for his bad customer service, and would write about how he was gonna kick this guy’s ass in pretty good detail. At some point, what’s to say that Mike from Guitar Center isn’t gonna get really pissed, and then all of those consequences fall on Jesse? We’re not big on ratting people out or whatever, but it went too far.”
2) @Dr_Cop — a California resident whom we’ll just call “Adam” — was behind @RealJesseCamp, which was never actually a verified account.
In actuality, Adam just copied and pasted a verification check into RealJesse’s profile picture. This is not where the check goes on accounts of actually verified celebrities, and I’m apparently not the Twitter sleuth I thought I was.
According to Adam, he started the account during Twitter’s infancy — sometime around 2007 or 2008 — with his then-girlfriend:
“We came up with the idea of doing a parody celebrity account, and Jesse Camp seemed like a good choice — he was pretty ridiculous and also had been out of the public eye for a while. I think the very first tweet we did was something like ‘Oh man found hella quarters in the couch cushions, gonna hit up Taco Bell 4 sure tonite!!!’”
3) After Jesse let it slide for years, his Twitter alter-ego didn’t just get too creepy to ignore, it also got too famous.
Jesse and Marisha first started to get concerned when Joe Mande — a comedian who makes it his “thing” to RT and hassle celebrities on Twitter — started paying serious attention to RealJesse. Incidentally, Adam also cites Mande’s attentions as the beginning of his more belligerent phase. RealJesse was also retweeted by Best Coast, and mentioned by Twitter aficianado/Community actor Donald Glover, who name-checked him in an interview, saying, “I follow him on Twitter and it’s very sad.” Both Mande and Glover apologized after learning that the account wasn’t actually Jesse.
Jesse says, “[It was fine] if people were in on that it wasn’t really me and it’s some guy pretending to be me. But all of a sudden it really kind of appeared like it was me tweeting these things, and I got pissed off and was like ‘this is too much.’”
On the bright side, Adam says the Twitter account got a surprising volume of DM’s from DTF Jesse fans, as well as the following friendly missive from none other than Tao Lin:
4) It’s not too hard to get a fake Twitter account taken down.
“Twitter has kind of its own protocol for how you report abuse,” Marisha explained, “and I guess this fell under ‘impersonation.’ I repeatedly emailed with samples of the more offensive or more violent tweets, and Twitter wanted some sort of documentation that Jesse was a real person, at which point Jesse got in touch and it disappeared overnight.”
Mandatory muzzling aside, Adam says he was ready to shut it down if asked. “I hope it didn’t hurt Jesse’s feelings or anything, that was never my intention.”
5) The real Jesse Camp has no plans to ever get on Twitter.
“I do not mean in any way to sound like I’m cooler or better than anyone, we’re all humans we’re all lonely we all have our shit,” says Jesse. “But with Twitter, it’s like ‘Oh, I’m at the Laundromat, I just ordered a dessert at a restaurant, let me take a picture of this cupcake and tweet it.’ I guess I’m just not self-promotional enough myself and I don’t really have a product, you know what I mean, to sell to the public, but more so, and there’s some people — and god bless them and I really do mean that — that are just self promotional. For me, if I walk by a dog park and I see a dog that looks like Satan, I just don’t have the urge to take a photo and tweet it.”
Burning questions that remain:
- If someone famous drops out of the public eye for an extended period of time, should use of their persona enter the public domain, like The Iliad or “Bicycle Built for Two?”
- Did Tao Lin really try to friend-court Jesse Camp?
- This isn’t really a question, but again, if anyone has screenshots of old RealJesse Tweets, DM me.
- What am I supposed to do with all my spare time now?
- Am I going to die alone?