The online satirist impersonating Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has revealed he is a senior Telstra staffer named Leslie Nassar.
Fake Stephen Conroy
"OK, so here it is; Fake Stephen Conroy = Leslie Nassar," Nassar wrote yesterday on his Fake Stephen Conroy Twitter profile. His Department of Internets site has also been updated with a link to his LinkedIn profile, which lists his current job title as "senior emerging technology specialist (mobile)" at Telstra.
Nassar's activities are understood to have been undertaken on his own behalf, with Telstra remaining ignorant of his hidden identity.
Nassar has proven to be one of the most popular satirists to use the Twitter medium in Australia over the past six months, treading a path laid out by international writers such as US-based journalist Daniel Lyons, who for several years maintained a blog satirising Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.
The real Stephen Conroy has also publicly acknowledged Nassar's work.
The news comes as speculation around Nassar's identity had reached fever pitch over the past several weeks, with bloggers publishing lists of suspects and Nassar himself contributing satirical articles under the Fake Stephen Conroy pen name to sites such as ZDNet.com.au and Crikey.
Nassar has also worked as a producer at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for four years. He has been at Telstra since October 2007.