i have no idea who that is
August 23, 2018 9:29 AM   Subscribe

My IRL name is linked to my Twitter account in Google search results and I'm not entirely sure why.

As far as I can tell, no part of my Twitter account has my IRL name it in (although it may have been in there before.) None of my accounts with which my real name is associated has a link to my twitter account in it. Weirder still, it only shows up when you google [FIRST LAST twitter]; it does not show up if you google ["FIRST LAST" twitter]. I've done all the research I can and I just cannot figure out how Google has associated my name with that twitter account years after I removed my IRL name from it, or how to make it stop doing that.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm more interested in having it stop doing that than figuring out why.
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
These may be personalized results. Check from a machine that you are not logged into, or incognito [or similarly anonymized].
posted by Glomar response at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2018

Yep, still comes up under all those circumstances.
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 9:43 AM on August 23, 2018

did you ever do that terrible thing during account setup where you give twitter access to your gmail contacts so it can find other ppl you know on twitter, and then it spams them with invites until the end of time? if that email address was associated with your full irl name then that could be the source? idk how you would undo that now though.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:43 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Did you fill out a Google Plus profile back when Google Plus was a thing, perhaps including your twitter account, and then forget about it when Google Plus seemed to stop being a thing?

I just went to check my own Google Plus profile, which I probably haven't looked at in 2 or 3 years, and apparently I did link my twitter to it. Also apparently I know people who still use Google Plus!
posted by moonmilk at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2018

I might guess that someone who does use Twitter, knows your handle and has your number has your name and details saved under Lastname Firstname and has given Twitter permission to use their address book.
posted by lokta at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Forgot to ask - does Twitter have your mobile number on file?
posted by lokta at 12:27 PM on August 23, 2018

Can you try looking at the page source to see if maybe your name appears in one of the meta tags? I'm not very familiar with twitter, but it is possible that if you had your name on it previously, something got set in the code that didn't change when you later removed your real name. From a brief check of the page source on a friend's twitter account, there's a tremendous amount of gobbledegook underlying what seems like a simple page, as displayed on screen. Bots can and do use any or all of the underlying code of a web site to help people find it in search results.
posted by nirblegee at 7:56 PM on August 23, 2018

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