Follow: The word that many TCU students click to view tweets from friends, family, celebrities, and other people on Twitter, but sometimes, they may not know who is behind the 140-character messages.
Since at least 2011, anonymous Twitter accounts relating to TCU have been popping up on the social media site.
The account topics range from the wireless Internet service at the university to the food in Market Square to the squirrels that students pass on the way to class.
Some of the most well-known Twitter handles include: @funkyfrog1, @s***nbdysaystcu (name adjusted for profanity), @tcu_problems, @tcusquirrel, @broschini, @tcustuwireless and @bluufood.
Number of followers as of Oct. 31, 2013.
The people that tweet from these accounts choose to hide their personal identities, creating an air of mystery about the people writing the messages.
Three of these handles revealed their names to TCU 360, granting interviews about their tweets in exchange for anonymity.
@tcustuwireless: The new handle in the anonymous TCU Twitter realm
The creator of @tcustuwireless said he created the page Oct. 24 when some of his friends were complaining about a bad connection to StuWireless, the university Wi-Fi for students.
“I thought it would be funny if StuWireless had a voice, and I figured [that] just all the crap StuWireless gets, he’d probably be pissed off,” he said.
The voice of @tcustuwireless has been firing back, occasionally using expletives, at people who tweet anything negative about the service.
The creator said that even though some of the tweets might antagonize other people, he doesn’t mean to hurt anyone with his comments.
“I don’t want to be mean really,” he said. “I just want to make people laugh.”
@tcu_problems: Got a problem? Tweet it
The author of the @tcu_problems handle said she came up with the idea to start a Twitter feed about some of the funny problems at TCU during the first week of class last spring.
She said she is always listening for topics to tweet about around campus.
“A lot of the time it’s just off the top of my head, but people also talk really loudly so sometimes I get funny ideas from other people,” she said.
As the go-to Twitter handle for problems on campus, the creator of the account said students complain most about food at the Brown-Lupton University Union and 8 a.m. classes.
“That’s what most people talk about,” she said. “It’s like the same conversation over and over again.”
The parody account has even received some attention from Twitter-savvy head football coach Gary Patterson, she said.
“Coach Patterson has reached out to me before and just said, “Thanks for being a funny twitter account,” she said.
The author said she would reveal her identity her senior year, but prefers the rush that comes along with anonymity for now.
“I think it keeps it a little more fresh,” she said. “If people knew who I was, I don’t think it would be as funny.”
@tcusquirrel: The furry friend at TCU
Squirrels are a common sight on the TCU campus, scurrying across the grass and up and down trees.
One TCU student said he decided to give a voice to the furry creatures by founding @tcusquirrel in 2011. More than 1,300 people follow the account now.
“I’m pretty surprised at the reaction I’ve gotten from students,” he said. “They’ll tweet at me things that the squirrels around campus are doing or close encounters they’ve had with squirrels.”
On Sept. 26, the @tcusquirrel tweeted, “I know what the fox says,” answering the question posed in the viral video “What Does the Fox Say?”
When asked to reveal what the fox says, the voice of the @tcusquirrel said, “It’s absolutely terrifying…it’s kind of a mix of pterodactyl squeal, kind of a nightmare-ish sound.”
The author added that the @tcusquirrel is not afraid of the fox and could take on the fox any day in a Twitter match-up.
Even after the current manager graduates, the @tcusquirrel account will still be active because another student agreed to be the social media voice for the TCU squirrels.
The student taking over the @tcusquirrel handle said other college campuses have Twitter pages for their squirrels, and there are websites that rank schools on their squirrel spirit.
“We’re not even on there, which I find ridiculous,” she said. “So, I want to get on there.”
The new author said one of her favorite tweets she has posted so far referred to the petting zoos that TCU hosts on campus.
“We have a million petting zoos, and they already have the squirrel so it’s unnecessary,” she said.
The @tcusquirrel founder passed along this message on behalf of the squirrels, “Be my friend. I won’t bite and go frogs!”
@funkyfrog1: A source for Horned Frog tweets
The most-followed anonymous Twitter user among TCU students is @funkyfrog1, with more than 2,300 followers.
TCU 360 reached out to @funkyfrog1 for an interview, but @funkyfrog1 declined to reveal his or her identity in order to maintain complete anonymity.
For now, TCU students will have to keep following and guessing to figure out who the people are behind the handles.