UPDATE: The fake Cormac McCarthy account is no longer verified.
Cormac McCarthy’s agent confirmed that a verified Twitter account claiming to belong to the novelist is fake. “I can confirm that this is definitely not a genuine Cormac McCarthy account,” McCarthy’s agent said.
New Republic journalist Alex Shephard confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he got verification from both McCarthy’s agent and publisher.
A Twitter spokesperson said, “The account referenced was verified by mistake and that has since been reversed. The account will also be required to adhere to Twitter’s parody, newsfeed, commentary, and fan account policy.”
The account claiming to be McCarthy — which boasts the pretty conspicuously misspelled username “@CormacMcCrthy” — has been active with some regularity since October 2018, dropping the kind of ridiculous tweets that anyone who’s even passingly familiar with the 88-year-old author’s work would find hard to believe actually came from him. For example, from March 2020: “They’re called thong sandals not flip flops. Nitwits call them flip flops because that’s the sound they make but this is foolish. That’s like calling a gun a bang bang.”
They're called thong sandals not flip flops. Nitwits call them flip flops because that's the sound they make but this is foolish. That's like calling a gun a bang bang.
— Cormac McCarthy (@CormacMcCrthy) March 9, 2020
The account steadily garnered more attention over the course of this year, but properly went viral at the end of July with a tweet in which @CormacMcCrthy complained that his publicist had been “on my case about my infrequent use of this infernal website. He says engagement is down and so are metrics and something something who cares.” After the post went viral, @CormacMcCrthy issued a follow-up, quipping, “My granddaughter says it is customary when a tweet becomes popular to refer readers to one’s sound cloud.”
My publicist is on my case about my infrequent use of this infernal website
He says engagement is down and so are metrics and something something who cares
I wrote a tweet
Are you happy now Terry
— Cormac McCarthy (@CormacMcCrthy) July 31, 2021
It appears that @CormacMcCrthy managed to get Twitter’s coveted blue-check verification after that initial tweet went viral. Earlier this year, Twitter re-launched its public verification program, but the system has proven to be susceptible to mistakes with both The Daily Dot and The Verge reporting on a handful of accounts that got verified despite being bots.
Impressively enough, this isn’t the first time someone has successfully impersonated McCarthy on Twitter. As Texas Monthly reported all the way back in 2013, an account belonging to “@CormacCMcCarthy” appeared in January of that year, and not only was the author Margaret Atwood briefly convinced it was the real McCarthy, so was Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey. The publisher Vintage/Anchor Books eventually confirmed the account was fake, noting that McCarthy “doesn’t own a computer.”