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Man Pretended To Be His Ex-Wife On Twitter For Six Years

Over the weekend, a bizarre story emerged from the depths of Twitter and you probably missed it.

A female Twitter user who'd amassed some 24,000 followers and regularly appeared in 'funny women online' lists confessed to actually being a man.

@ElleOhHell -- whose name is not public, but who for years everyone believed was called 'Elle' -- made the startling confession over the weekend, revealing he had been using photos of his wife as his avatar. Well, ex-wife. The couple is now getting a divorce.

"I'm going to say something now that I've been ashamed of for a long time, and it will be a betrayal to many," not-Elle tweeted.

"The avatar is not, in fact, me, but my wife. She knows about it and was glad for me to have this creative outlet. I enjoyed it too. The anonymity was very liberating, and honestly who would want to be a man on the internet. The unintended consequence was that people got hurt.

ElleOhHell's most recent profile picture is a cartoon, but photos used in the past show a real woman -- now revealed to be his wife. Photo: Twitter.

"The picture I used most often was of my beautiful wife on our wedding day. Now after many years of marriage and two years of separation (and one AMAZING little girl), we have decided that divorce is the best course of action for everyone."

He nuked his Twitter account a short time later, but not before changing his header image to simply read, "Sorry".

Not-Elle's deception goes further than a Tinder catfish or somebody posting under an alias, as is common for comedy Twitter accounts.

By appearing to be a person in the sense that they had a face and a name, @ElleOhHell's gained the trust of women and non-binary people online, and for some, their friendship.

"This man intentionally fooled thousands of people over the source of 5+ years, gaining recognition in spaces meant to amplify the voices of women, and garnering emotional intimacy from female friends because they felt safe to share with other women," Twitter user @TheDreamGhoul said.

It also allowed him to "slide into women's [direct messages] without suspicion", she said.

Many women expressed their betrayal and hurt.

At this point, the @ElleOhHell account is back -- but perhaps under new management. It has just a few hundred followers, a handful of tweets, and has content taking the piss out of itself.

Photo: Twitter.

As the saying goes, never tweet, but if you must tweet then don't pretend to be your own ex-wife while you do it.

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au