Life Advice Tweeter Gains Massive Audience as 'Warren Buffet'

For a few days anyway
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2018 2:32 PM CDT
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is pictured on May 7, 2018.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – Lawmakers, TV hosts, even Kanye West retweeted the advice shared by @WarrenBuffet99. "Find a mentor" and "don't spend what you don’t have" were among the tips the account offered. It's "cool" to follow your dreams and be nice to strangers, the tweets continued. They apparently resonated: The account racked up some 257,000 followers and 2 million likes within days of its first Saturday tweet, per the BBC and Omaha World-Herald, though it was ultimately short-lived. Twitter, recognizing the account as a parody that failed to identify itself as such—Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, has his own verified Twitter account with more than 1.4 million followers—soon shut it down, sending Justin Bariso at Inc. on a mission to find the voice of such wisdom.

He instead uncovered identical tweets from a separate Twitter account called "Life Advice," which has also now been suspended. It was apparently run by leadership consultant Jo Oz, who also has a book called Life Advice, Bariso writes. But while it's unclear if Oz is the Buffett imposter, Bariso notes the account "was never about the messenger." Rather, "the real reason these tweets went viral is because people are craving this type of message … a new (and free) source of motivation and encouragement," Bariso says. The real Buffett, who hasn't tweeted since 2016, isn't about to step in. The 87-year-old "does not plan to tweet," a rep tells Yahoo, adding @WarrenBuffet99 is one of "a number of fake Twitter accounts" discovered, many with an incorrect spelling of Buffett. (Read more Warren Buffett stories.)

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