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Politics

A Student Got Abuse Because People Thought He Started The Cameronettes

Charlie Evans is at the centre of a Twitterstorm of someone else's making.

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On Monday, BuzzFeed reported that a group of teenage girls had started a fandom around Ed Miliband.

this all started out as a joke but now i think i legitimately fancy ed miliband

when u say u don't love ed miliband ur not only lying to yourself but also the whole population of this planet we call home

Shortly afterwards, the hashtag #Milifandom began trending as prominent Twitter users, and teenagers themselves, began using it.

Ed Miliband as the new One Direction? Not sure I saw that one coming http://t.co/QhzcpAIZzQ #Milifandom

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Re: #milifandom, teenage girls have been braver than many commentators in noting that Ed Mililband has been unfairly attacked by Murdoch.

The fandom attempted to keep the message on track.

#Milifandom is not a joke. It's young people angry at the distorted presentation of Ed, trying to correct that + make themselves heard.

Then Charlie Evans, a 21-year-old student at Exeter University, made a joke about getting #Cameronettes trending.

In light of #milifandom, it's only appropriate that we get #cameronettes trending.

Others also made similar jokes, some coming up with "Cameronettes" separately, but none of them received much of a response.

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It was quickly pointed out by others that the account was fairly small.

“risks being overshadowed” Cameronettes has 15 followers http://t.co/23VUrJG67v RISKS BEING OVERSHADOWED. you can’t do that. you just can’t

The Telegraph swiftly edited the piece to replace "risks being overshadowed by growing Twitter love" with "sparks some minor Twitter love"", and introduced the clause "but it isn't all quite what it seems".

A second report from The Telegraph implied that Charlie Evans was the creator of the @Cameronettes account – even though it quoted him as saying: "I have nothing to do with the page."

"I wanted to set the record straight," Evans told BuzzFeed News, "so I distanced myself from the earliest possible moment I could contribute."

He added that he wasn't even a Tory.

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Nevertheless, the story quickly spread around Twitter, as users expressed their distate for the idea of a 21-year-old masquerading as a 13-year-old.

"The brainchild of the #cameronettes is 21-year-old Exeter University economics and politics student and Conservative Charlie Evans."

The @Cameronettes account – which has now changed its username to a random string of letters – publicly denied that it was run by Evans.

I just wanted to clear this all up. @Chevans93 only sent 1 tweet. I created the account with this name because i thought it was good

And the person running the account even apologised to Evans.

@Chevans93 im honestly so sorry. I didnt want it to turn out like this

But people continued to believe the account was run by the university student.

@Cameronettes Actually you are 21-year-old Exeter University economics & politics student Charlie Evans. This is just a bit weird.

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"I did not give them a first interview and they have associated the Twitter account @Cameronettes with me," he said. "I only wrote a tweet."

But he was still being attacked online by a number of users and eventually had to make his account private.

@Chevans93 impersonating a 13yo girl online is called grooming I believe but #DavidCameron as the object of your attention? Weird #GE2015

@Chevans93 Do you really think it's appropriate to be posing as a 13 Y/O girl to support the #Tories? BTW, @Telegraph outed you. #OddBall.

@Chevans93 isn't there something dodgy about a 21 year old male passing himself off as a 14 year old girl? #cameronettes

Now the @Cameronettes account has been moved to the handle @Ugaxvhddjhxsgkc, but it remains unclear who started it.

THANKS FOR THE LOLS EVERYONE 😂😂😂 BYE #milifandom 4 EVER #milibae #milifan

The account appears now to have stopped tweeting. Its final post was this goodbye message, which features a screengrab of a BuzzFeed post.

Luke Bailey is a senior editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Luke Bailey at luke.bailey@buzzfeed.com.

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