Twitter has become popular enough that not only do celebrities have Twitter accounts, you’re likely to see several parody accounts of those celebrities too. Browse around Twitter and you’ll quickly be able to find parody accounts like Lord Voldemort (@Lord_Voldemort7) and accounts for long dead historical figures like Abraham Lincoln (@Abe_Lincoln).

Parody accounts are nothing new to Twitter and they do fit within Twitter’s user guidelines, but a new “rogue” fad is also sweeping the Twitterverse. Several government agencies and companies have created “rogue” twitter accounts to fight the current executive policy. Parody and rogue accounts are similar but different things. Let’s review what you need to know if you decide to go rogue to keep yourself and your reputation safe.

The Basics of “Going Rogue” on Twitter

If You’re Going Rogue

Parody and rogue accounts are allowed on Twitter but you must protect yourself. Stating that something is a parody account or a rogue account does not mean you are not subject to any laws regarding Twitter’s Terms of Service, or defamation laws. Protect yourself by displaying “parody” or “fake account” in your bio and remember that parody accounts are still subject to both defamation and copyright laws.

If You Are Being Parodied

Many musicians say a Weird Al parody is the sign that they’ve made it big but people being parodied or mocked on Twitter might not feel the same way. If there is a parody or rogue account connected to you, have a sense of humor and take the parody with stride as its often a form of flattery. However, when any rogue account posts trademarked, inflammatory, or libelous statements about you, a line has been crossed. If you think this line has been crossed gather as much evidence as you can in screenshots and report the activity to Twitter. If the parody account is particularly libelous you should consider contacting a defamation defense team.

If You Are Following Rogue Accounts

Remember that rogue accounts cannot be verified. If you are following rogue accounts always take them with a grain of salt and be on the lookout for rogue accounts created with malicious intent including ransomware and adware. Never click links from unverified accounts.

If you decide to go rogue, you still must follow all of Twitter’s terms of service and must comply to any laws. If you are being parodied and the account becomes malicious or libelous contact Twitter support or a defamation defense team if things get out of hand.