Dear [INSERT ATHLETE/EXECUTIVE NAME]
First off, congratulations. You’ve made it. You’ve outperformed thousands of people in your field to be at the pinnacle of your profession. You’re in a position to be handsomely rewarded both monetarily and in terms of personal cultural cache. What could be better right?
Except, as we regret to inform you, things will not always be sunshine and sports cars. At times, you will face copious amounts of scrutiny from dark corners of the earth (Ie. Twitter).
Here at [INSERT TEAM], we recognize that your reputation is all you have in this world (well, besides the accolades and what can be best quantified as ‘truckloads’ of money) and you must at times take extreme steps to defend it. With the anonymity afforded by social media, we now have the opportunity to do so like never before through the use of what is colloquially known as a “burner account.”
“What’s that?” you, a respectable human being, may be asking yourself? Well, it’s a secondary account on social media, set-up anonymously to act as a third party to defend your interests online in a myriad of pointless arguments vs. Joe from Arkansas who thinks your jumper is “straight doo doo.” It’s your weapon of attrition against the common folk on this earth. It’s not enough to out-earn them and be living the job of their dreams, you also have to call their momma fat sometimes.
That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to get you all set up with your new account, and to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of your predecessors.
1. Register from a fake email address.
A simple “lost password” test can help Twitter sleuths determine if your burner account is legit or if it’s just another shill for [email protected] So use an address that isn’t easily traceable.
2. Choose the right name.
It is paramount you select an appropriate name for your burner account. Avoid anything with too many numbers as it is an obvious ‘troll move’. You’re not a mathematician, so unless you plan on diving deep into statistical data, multiple numbers are a dead giveaway that you are not who you say you are.
It is our advice to create a generic, yet feasible story for your account. Perhaps you’re an eager fan who just loves a particular player (@KobeAboveJordan), or you’re an internet lady who is enamoured with yourself (@LonzoCanBall).
3. Build a believable bio and backstory.
Most burner accounts are obvious for their lack of personality, so as we discussed above, you need to add some flare. First, take a moment and create a DnD Character Sheet and hammer down what exactly it is you’re going to defend about your own personality online and then let that be your guide.
Next, think about things you would normally never do, like your own laundry. Maybe your alter-ego has a weird enjoyment for that or whatever else poor people do. Perhaps you drive a Camry (a brand of car, we know, it’s confusing), or take the subway (the type of public transportation that travels underground that you have to share with the masses, gross we know). Maybe you’ve recently had a spat with American Airlines and will never fly with them again (economy, not first class).
Make these small elements a part of you and your description. Remember, you are a real person who does their own grocery shopping and can’t afford a dietician. So maybe you like Kit-Kats or something.
4. Diversify your follow list.
Nothing gives away a poor burner account like a follower list consistent with your own. Be sure to mask your burner identity by following at least 200–300 account with no connection to you. Then, engage in some non-related-to-you mundane discussion or exchanges with them. Establish a benchmark to show that you’re interested in something else other than perpetual self-dick riding in the third person under the guise of faux anonymity. To throw any suspicious parties off your trail, don’t just defend Danny Ainge, but also go on a Lakers tearing-down spree in addition to maybe complementing a team that is of no consequence to you (the Suns come to mind).
5. Get a separate phone.
There are multiple reasons to have two phones, some less nefarious than others. Paul Pierce, for example, probably doesn’t know how to transfer his contacts via the cloud so he keeps all his old phones. In your case, a second phone will help to keep your burner accounts separate. We advise getting a phone model that you would never even touch for fear of regular people cooties spreading to your person — something like an iPhone that’s two models behind. What’s more, a second phone ensures that you won’t have to be signed into multiple accounts at once, thus minimizing the risk of accidentally tweeting something from your main account that was intended for your burner.
6. Develop a thick skin (or at least selective hearing)
You are famous. You are popular. You have millions of people around the world who wake up in the morning wishing they could just be you. You are a member of one of the most exclusive groups in the world with all the advantages that come with it (and with money). Men want to be you. Women want to be with you. And Twitter trolls want to dissect your every dribble to find a minute inconsistency in it so they can make a 14-point Twitter thread about how you’re actually not the greatest. Such is jealousy.
You will face personal attacks in the thousands, if not millions, and it will feel like a lot sometimes. So you must build a selective wall around your psyche, and only allow certain tweets to bother you. The best approach here is to focus on a theme — perhaps it’s your jump shot, maybe it’s your dribbling or it could very well just be your placement in the pantheon of greats in the NBA. Focus on tweets with that theme and let the other ones slide. At the end of the day, you’re the one playing basketball and those poor plebs have to go to work in the morning.
7. Don’t disclose your burner account to HR.
We, as an organization, need plausible deniability. It’s a lot easier for us to defend you when we cannot confirm nor deny your involvement in the burner account community.
And there you have it. You have now completed the “Burner Account” module of [INSERT TEAM] PR Training seminar. You are ready to go out into the world and be provoked by the slightest joke on social media. Happy tweeting.
Sincerely, your [INSERT TEAM] PR Department Lead,