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Fake Tweets Get Fitness Guru Booted Off Ship

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Yesterday, we talked about the launch of the new Costa Fascinosa, a sister ship to the ill-fated Costa Concordia and the largest boat in the Costa fleet. The launch came along with the company’s announcement of some very good booking news.

Along with a bevy of new onboard safety features, travelers on the new Costa ship will now undergo a rigorous, pre-launch safety-training program. It will be conducted in six languages and led by uniformed personnel.

Not to be outdone, Costa parent company Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) recently kicked Nashville neurosurgeon and diet guru Jack Kruse off a ship after some unfortunate tweets issued in his name. Kruse had been scheduled to speak on the 5th annual Jimmy Moore Low-Carb Cruise.

The tweets were issued from the totally real and professional sounding @shitkrusesays account (you know like that TV show with William Shatner). Kruse denies any involvement in the account and claims competitors set it up.

According to USA Today, Kruse was questioned by authorities and removed from the ship after a tweet that claimed he had a “vial of Legionnaires for an epic biohack.” The cruise line also received an email warning about Kruse.

An investigation revealed that Kruse had nothing to do with the tweet (he also didn’t have a vial of Legionnaires, if you’re wondering) but he was not initially allowed back on ship. Carnival later offered to fly him to the boat’s next port of call, but Kruse declined as he’d already missed his speaking opportunity.

Kruse does not seem overly upset at Carnival’s handling of the situation. He did, however, seem fairly concerned at the ease with which someone pretended to be him online.

Fake twitter accounts are nothing new, of course. A few months ago, the Washington Post reported on the growing number of accounts pretending to be college presidents. There’s also the late, great @GingrichIdeas. While it doesn’t claim to be Newt Gingrich, tweets like “Talk more about the moon next time” sound a lot like him.

Trouble arises, of course, when a fake account makes vaguely terrorist threats in someone else’s name. Considering how easy it was for this to happen to Kruse, it might be a good idea to look into some sort of verification process for the service.

Then again, it might also help if authorities realized that few neurosurgeons set up accounts with titles like “shitkrusesays.”
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