UK
06/01/2016 06:39 GMT | Updated 06/01/2016 06:59 GMT

Pat McFadden, US Latin Teacher, Mistaken For Sacked Shadow Europe Minister On Twitter

Left, Pat McFadden. Right, Pat McFadden
Oli Scarff via Getty Images/ patmcfadden/ Twitter
Left, Pat McFadden. Right, Pat McFadden

Spare a thought for those who share their name with a famous personality - and pity more people who are inundated with abuse on social media when their namesake is the intended recipient of intense vilification.

That's a lesson Latin teacher Pat "poor bloke" McFadden, who works at St Mary's Episcopal School in Tennessee, learnt yesterday.

He woke on Wednesday morning to find his Twitter mentions awash with mentions - from campaigners pillaging him with abuse and journalists smugly pointing out the case of mistaken identity.

Why? Because McFadden (@patmcfadden) shares his name with the now sacked shadow Europe minister (@patmcfaddenmp); an easy mistake - we get it.

A colleague of the Labour MP ousted from Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench late on Wednesday, Wes Streeting, set off the firestorm - accidentally tagging the wrong McFadden in a tribute tweet sent out last night.

The now deleted post, later re-published with the correct handle included, read: "Gutted about @patmcfadden. Crucial year with EU ref and we've lost an experienced heavyweight. What a shower."

Streeting quickly tried to remedy the simple mistake, following up the tweet with:

But it wasn't enough to hold back the Twitterstorm.

Labour supporters gleeful at the news of McFadden's sacking, after he openly sparred with Corbyn in the Commons over Western foreign policy's role in provoking the Paris attacks, disparaged him and jubilated at news of the demotion.

While other hawk-eyed Twitter users watched in anticipation of poor Tennesseean McFadden, who has himself not posted on the micro-blogging site since 27 June this year, being deluged with notifications.

The US-based McFadden had previously befallen the same fate on matters concerning Europe, leaving one Twitter user to speculate that his 37 followers would enjoy a far less active account now that the brief had been withdrawn from his namesake.

Another pointed to another stateside user, John Lewis, a man unsurprisingly swamped with messages towards the Christmas period by people confusing him for one of Britain's biggest chain stores.

McFadden now joins the long list of people, including John Lewis (@johnlewis) - NOT @johnlewisretail - and Chelsea, a 25-year-old freelance photographer in San Francisco frequently finding herself confused with the English football club which shares her name (@chelseafc), to suffer social media mistaken identity.

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