George W. Bush appears on social media

Former president sets up a page on Facebook and gets the Twitterati talking.

Former President George W. Bush’s forays this week onto Twitter and Facebook had some detours.

On June 2, early in the day, Twitter was abuzz with the news that Bush apparently had joined the ranks of the Twitterati. But soon those chirps were overtaken by more posts insinuating that Bush’s purported Twitter site might not be authentic.

On June 3, there were headlines suggesting that perhaps Bush’s Twitter identity lacked authenticity. “Fake George W. Bush is Maybe Lying To You On Twitter?” asked Vanity Fair. “Did George W. Bush Really Join Twitter?” chimed in the Christian Science Monitor. About 7,000 followers had signed up to follow the purported Bush Twitter account by early morning.

By afternoon, CBS News was reporting that @George_WBush was not an official account endorsed by Bush. And Vanity Fair quoted a tweet from former White House Internet director David Almacy to confirm that the alleged Bush Twitter account was fake and to say that those interested can follow the official George W. Bush Foundation Twitter account, which is a verified account.

Meanwhile, things were looking better for the former president on his new Facebook page. CBS News said it had spoken with a Bush spokesman that the Bush Facebook page was, in fact, the real thing. This was very helpful to know, since there are at least a half-dozen other Facebook pages purporting to represent the former president.

The Facebook page looked pretty sparse today; there are only two official posts, including one about Laura Bush’s upcoming book. Nonetheless, it has attracted 113,000 fans, and several thousand have submitted comments already. “Oh man, do I miss Dubya,” wrote Adam Hyman on June 2.