I Love These Guys

This is the best thing on the Internet today, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

DPRK News Service is a parody account, and here's a little backstory for you:

DPRK News is run by two American guys: Patrick, a lawyer, and Derrick, a data analyst. They also run the “Popehat” account, which tweets from the perspective of, well, the pope’s hat.

We talked to them about their North Korean account. They’ve asked us to withhold their last names — they don’t want the North Koreans to be able to find them — so we’re calling them Patrick Popehat and Derrick Popehat.

Washington Post: Your DPRK News tweets are so spot-on that you've tricked a lot of people and some serious news organizations, too. What's the most surprising spoof tweet people have fallen for?

Patrick Popehat: Without a doubt, the first. On the first day of the account's existence, when Kim Jong Il, the father of North Korea's present leader, was still in power, Cyprus detained a North Korean ship caught smuggling cigarettes. I tweeted that the DPRK was threatening Cyprus with war over the ship. How the People's Navy would reach Cyprus was another question. In any case, that tweet was flagged by the Web-based arm of a Norwegian television network, and turned into a news story about the coming war. I shut down the account for a year (after boasting about the prank at my blog) after that tweet.

Derrick Popehat: Depends what you mean by "fallen." It's difficult to determine if someone is retweeting something because he/she thinks its "real," amusing or both. In this case, I would define "fallen" as "a major media outlet reported as fact." I figured after this, there wouldn't be any more. A simple Google search for the Twitter handle would not only reveal that article but several others covering the same material. So, waking up one morning and finding out this happened nearly nine months later was a little disconcerting.

At this point, Patrick and I haven't really been trying to "spoof" news outlets, so it was surprising that one made it in. That was the last major hit, I think. My favorite "spoof" moment was when Patrick killed a tweet I wrote about the Korea National Insurance Company, for being unrealistic. It actually exists, mostly as [an alleged]  front for reinsurance fraud.

WP: What's the best tweet you've written? Your favorite tweet?

PP: Boasts about Kim Jong Un and his omnipotence are always fun, and not too far from what North Korea's news services actually report. This is the most popular tweet we've written: