By Alex Harris & Tony Wallin
Parody profile has significant following
Over 1,000 or so Instagram users, whether knowingly or not, have been following an account parodying as the official Humboldt County Instagram profile.
Although some are aware @humboldtcounty is a parody, the account’s high number of followers has bolstered it as the top result when searching for Humboldt County on Instagram.
KRFH News reporter Tera Winston-Doble said she was told by a friend about this seemingly official page with questionable content. She said she found it to contain some posts, under the guise of parody, to have racist rhetoric and others that seem to shame the homeless community.
“It’s the first thing that shows up on Humboldt County on Instagram.” Winston-Doble said. “Lots of people are sharing posts and tagging it.”
Many unknowing Instagramers use the hashtag that links to this account with a variety of posts such as people doing yoga or dogs on the beach.
(Screenshot of one of the posts)
Some of the accounts posts address controversies such as those regarding the drug trade across the southern border of the United States and engage with followers in comments.
At the top of the accounts page, 1st district Supervisor Rex Bohn’s email is linked, suggesting affiliation and credibility. Rex Bohn appeared to have barely any knowledge of Instagram in general let alone the account.
“No clue, I have no Instagram or plan on one, never used that medium,” Bohn said in an email.
The account states at the top of the page that it is a parody page. However, the Humboldt County official seal is set as the profile picture, creating confusion for some followers.
3rd District Supervisor Mike Wilson also had no knowledge but let his “media guy” Sean Quincy know about the account.
“It’s an account that is using the county logo without permission and is misrepresenting itself as an official County of Humboldt social media account,” Quincy said. “I am reaching out to them to see if they are willing to more accurately identify themselves.”
The owner of the parody account has also not yet responded to the Lumberjack.