Upon first glance, the Facebook page looks legitimate. The profile is named Paula Deen and her photo is front and center. There’s even a photo of Paula Deen and son Bobby Deen from Saturday’s Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk held in Forsyth Park.
Plus, there are hundreds of wall posts from people pledging their love and support to Paula Deen in the wake of the scandal from earlier this year when the famed cook said in a lawsuit deposition that she had used the “N-word” several years ago. That lawsuit has since been dismissed, but Paula Deen has not regained any of the contracts and endorsement deals she lost in its wake.
A closer look reveals that all is not as it seems. When Savannah Morning News columnist Christine Lucas alerted editors to the imposter page early Wednesday afternoon, the URL contained language we can’t publish here. Later Wednesday, the profanity in the URL was changed to “TwinkiePies.”
Her birthday is listed as July 10, 1946. Paula Deen’s actual birth date is Jan. 19, 1947.
And the only “Like” on the page is for Black Entertainment Television.
The imposter page appears to have been created on Nov. 11, 2012. Posting from the fake Paula Deen was intermittent until June of this year, when the “N-word” controversy first developed.
A few posters have discerned the account is fake, but the overwhelming majority believe it is Paula Deen herself accepting their friend requests and making comments about “Michelle Obama’s don’t be fat website” and asking “How’s come I only have white Facebook friends?”
Neither Paula Deen’s representatives nor Facebook’s spokesmen have responded to requests for comments on the page.
According to its own Help Center, Facebook does not allow accounts that “Pretend to be you or someone else” and recommends that fake accounts be reported. It does not say how many times a fake account must be reported before it is removed or how long the removal process takes.
The authentic Facebook page for Paula Deen can be found at www.facebook.com/pauladeen. It has more than 3.3 million Likes.