The Real Truth Behind The 104-Year-Old Who Joined Twitter

Dear reader, TechCrunch owes you an apology. We thought the “104-Year-Old joins Twitter” story last week was Digg bait created by the media. It turns out it was all just old fashioned re-hashed PR. But at least we are apologizing – unlike the many news outlets that ran with this manufactured story.To explain…

On May 15 two UK newspapers ran the story about 104 year old woman “Ivy Bean” / @ivybean104 joining Twitter. We correctly called it out as a ruse, but we got the wrong target. What none of those original stories told you, was that poor old Ivy had not joined Twitter just because it was suddenly the talk of the senior citizens home. No. She joined because home PC maintenance company Geek Squad signed her up, propped her up for a photo opportunity – even using her own account to Twitpic the event – and press-released the hell out of it. And the media fell for it.