Tools for Faking Social Media

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Gardner_Apr14_196.jpgStudents in the writing and digital media course that I teach have started work on their final project, the “remix a story” project that I have mentioned in previous posts. For this project, students choose a story (fiction or nonfiction) and retell that story using digital composing tools. The goal is to get beyond primarily linguistic stories to create stories that engage multiple modes of communication fully.

Many students will include social media as part of their remix. I have had projects that included things such as Twitter updates from Little Red Riding Hood and Facebook updates from characters in The Little Mermaid. As creative and fun as these projects are, they bring challenges:

  • Facebook does not allow fictional sites, so students risk having their project removed if Facebook finds it.
  • Creating logins for multiple characters can be at best tedious and at worst impossible for sites that allow only one account per email address.
  • Project assets made with the real social media sites sometimes include extraneous information Students may need to know how to edit screenshots to remove timestamps, for instance.
  • Students shouldn’t have to use their personal accounts for such projects. Their private social media stream should be private, not filled with updates from Little Red Riding Hood and the Big, Bad Wolf.

To address these challenges, I point students to these online tools that allow them to fake social media updates.

There are additional tools at and BigHugeLabs that could work, depending upon the story and remix goals a student has.

I do talk about ethical use of the tools when I share the list in class. It’s not that I don’t trust my students, but many of the sites talk about pranking people with your fake creations. That isn’t our goal, and I want to avoid any mixed messages.

I’m always on the lookout for tools to add the list. If you have a suggestion, please leave me a comment below, or drop by my page on Facebook or Google+.

About the Author
Traci Gardner, known as "tengrrl" on most networks, writes lesson plans, classroom resources, and professional development materials for English language arts and college composition teachers. She is the author of Designing Writing Assignments, a contributing editor to the NCTE INBOX Blog, and the editor of Engaging Media-Savvy Students Topical Resource Kit.