Gary Glitter is not back and probably won’t be any time soon.
Last week, eyebrows were raised at the return of infamous glam rocker Gary Glitter. He used the twitter handle #OfficialGlitter to announce a comeback tour and autobiography. It turned out to be a hoax, but not just any hoax. It was a social experiment designed to study the reaction to a known sex offender joining Twitter.
In a tumblr that has since been cleared of all its content, the person claiming responsibility for the account detailed the reasons behind the fake account. The intrepid Glitter impersonator wanted to “highlight the dangers and safety of children using the social networking sites and to discover and question public morality,” according to the Mirror who got to the tumblr before it went down.
The impersonator detailed the responses they received while running the Twitter account and said that they were “deeply disturbed” by the amount of “positive, encouraging and supportive comments” directed to, in his words, a “convicted child rapist.”
The impersonator was hoping that the experiment would highlight the dangers facing children on social networking sites like Twitter. They point out the fact that Twitter has no age requirement and parents are letting their children join Facebook even when the site’s rules state that no one under 13 can join.
They also appealed to the UK government to limit Internet access for registered sex offenders.
“If sex offenders are so limited in the ‘real world’, why are there no laws prohibiting what they can and can’t do on in the ‘digital’ world. Something must be done,” the impersonator wrote.
The @OfficialGlitter account still seems to be active with the last post coming four hours ago. The account has deleted all mentions of the experiment and is back to business as usual. Let’s just chalk this up as another case of the Internet and those on it do weird things.