Real life

Am I being impersonated by an actor from Colorado or a mining company?

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

Someone else with my name is wreaking havoc with my attempts to control the Twitter account I don’t want.

Obviously, I haven’t been on Twitter other than to stick my toe in briefly, then pull it back out after realising how very cold it is in there. But I can’t work out how to deactivate my account.

I’ve tried many times but it is beyond me, so I have had to stay on Twitter but not actually go on Twitter.

This position was holding up fine, until I started getting emails telling me someone had logged into my account and if that wasn’t me I should do something about it.

Usually, when you get an email claiming something isn’t right, it’s an imposter pretending something isn’t right, and then something really isn’t right as soon as you fall for it, log in and get your identity stolen.

I ignored all these emails, therefore, as they poured in week after week. Until the other day I received one telling me someone had logged in and changed my password and if that wasn’t me, then I really should check.

Surely I can’t now check because I don’t know my own password? In fact, Twitter allowed me to log in by them sending me an email with a code in it, which enabled me to change my password again.

I reread the original message and it stated that the person who changed my password before who wasn’t me had logged in from ‘Cerro Colorado’.

A memory stirred. There is an American actor — can I say actress? I do so like that word — called Melissa Kite. I had a quick rummage on Wikipedia and yes, she is from Colorado.

I wish I lived in Colorado, I thought. I wish I was the Melissa Kite who lives in Colorado and starred in House (2004), Big Love (2006) and 12 Days a Stripper (2014), instead of the Melissa Kite who lives in Surrey and argues with cyclists and vegan neighbours who want LED street lights on village greens.

Then I read this on her website: ‘Melissa works privately with actors and non-actors alike combining meditation, voice and body work and to connect to their creative essence: the Self.’

And I thought no, I’m happy being the one who complains about LED street lights and vegans.

But was it possible that an actor from Colorado, in the process of helping other actors connect to their Self, was logging on to my Twitter by mistake? I knew I must check my page immediately, in case a person who wasn’t me was posting stuff about her creative essence, or someone else’s.

But now I was at an impasse. If I looked at my Twitter account. I would see all the posts by strangers saying what they think of me. Are they talking to me, or to other people about me? Above all, why have they taken it all the wrong way? If there was a way to take it, they’ve taken it 100 per cent the other way, which is the way that I would never have recommended they took it but I didn’t think I had to recommend a way to take it, as though humour was a pill that came with instructions.

With one hand in front my eyes I took a tiny peep through my fingers and screamed.

‘What are you doing?’ said the builder boyfriend, who was lying in bed covered in spaniels, for this was happening first thing in the morning.

‘I’ve gone inside Twitter,’ I said, peeping through my fingers. ‘You shouldn’t do that,’ said the BB, reaching for the coffee I had set down for him.

‘You’re right, I can’t go in there,’ I said. For I could see it was a morass of literal-minded offence-taking. There had to be another way.

I looked up the IP location again. Oh, for heaven’s sake. Cerro Colorado is not a town in Colorado.

Cerro Colorado is a volcano in northern Chile about four miles west of the border with Bolivia.

The only thing there is a small mine. Then, as I stared at the map, I realised there was more than one red blob…

Cerro Colorado is a neighbourhood in El Salvador. And a hill in Guatemala. And a ghost town in southern Pima County, Arizona. It’s a dozen places in South America, the United States and Spain. The only thing they all seem to have in common is that a mining company was or is there.

Maybe this mining company lends its name to wherever it’s been. Maybe it’s gone from mining copper to mining Twitter identities.

All I know is that a deep, dark hole opens up when I try to look into what goes on behind my back inside the internet, and it makes me cry: ‘The horror! The horror!’

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