If you’ve been on the internet, you’ve seen commenters or social media accounts claiming to have the lowdown. Right before the most recent Nintendo Direct, a new Twitter account called Waddle Dee Knows did just that by making a flurry of predictions. Some of them, including a new Super Mario Strikers and a Wii Sports sequel, were right and made hours before the Direct began.
Waddle Dee Knows seemed like they knew something.
Not everything was on the nose. There were some oddballs, like the info that Nintendo was publishing an Encanto game developed by Bandai Namco for a May reveal. For the stuff the account didn’t get, there was an explanation. “Mario Kart 8 DLC was a surprise,” wrote Waddle Dee Knows. “Doesn’t seem many people outside the dev team knew it was coming up.”
But Waddle Dee didn’t know anything and was no insider.
“This account was an experiment to see how easy it is to fake it and make it,” tweeted Waddle Dee Knows. “Yeah, I guessed everything in the Direct and deleted the stuff that didn’t show up.” That way, Waddle Dee Knows appeared to have a good track record. Then, the account would say “weird shit” like the Encanto news to catch people off guard to be even more credible.
The original plan was to carry on the charade for just one day, but within seven hours, the account had over two thousand followers. Some game sites even introduced the “mysterious account,” and if Waddle Dee Knows had continued, no doubt the number of followers would have continued to grow exponentially. In order to mislead fewer people, Waddle Dee Knows had to call it a day earlier than expected.
As Ars Technica reports, Waddle Dee Knows is YouTuber Jon Cartwright from Good Vibes Gaming, who posted a 15-minute explanation of how he created the fake account. The whole video, which can be seen above, is worth a watch because he does go into the nitty-gritty of how internet scammers make things look legit.
On Twitter, that meant making a bunch of wild predictions when nobody was reading his account, and then deleting them after the Nintendo Direct. “I could delete as much as I want,” he explained, “and no one would notice because no one could see these tweets.” The few that Cartwright did get right made him look like an insider, which he’s not.
“I wanted to see how easy this was and unfortunately, it’s very easy,” Waddle Dee Knows (aka Jon Cartwright) tweeted. “I hope this can become an example to not randomly trust faceless anonymous profiles.”
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