Internet | January 8, 2020 12:46 pm

Influencer Paul Zimmer Has Returned to the Internet as a Different Person

Paul Zimmer has rebranded as a teen named Troy Becker, and the stunt is fooling no one.

Paul Zimmer Troy Becker
Paul Zimmer claims to have handed his social accounts over to a young lookalike actor named Troy Becker.
Instagram/@paulzimmer

You can be whoever you want on the internet, including, apparently, a teen actor you made up.

That’s the story behind a new stranger-than-fiction report from the New Statesman investigating the bizarre reappearance of disgraced influencer Paul Zimmer, who appears to have adopted a new alter-ego that is fooling just about no one.

Zimmer, who first rose to popularity on TikTok predecessor Music.ly back in 2015, effectively vanished from the internet two years ago after fans called him out for failing to make good on video shout-outs and shares he had promised in exchange for monetary gifts via Music.ly’s sister app, Live.ly.

But in October 2019, Zimmer resurfaced with a strange new post introducing the world to Troy Becker, a purported teen actor bearing a strong resemblance to Zimmer. “This actor @TroyBeckerIG kid literally looks like a younger sexier version of me,” Zimmer captioned an Instagram post featuring a side by side comparison of himself and Becker. “I don’t even use social media anymore but had to post this hahah…”

The link to Troy Becker’s handle led to a sparsely populated account that, as the New Statesman‘s Sarah Manavis noted, would be surprisingly barren for any Gen-Z actor.

A second post about Troy Becker followed, and in December, Zimmer posted again, this time announcing he would be leaving social media and handing control of his accounts over to the young actor. “Hey it’s Paul Zimmer, this is prolly gonna be my last social post ever,” he wrote. “I have come to a place in my life where being in the spotlight and being an entertainer is no longer my passion … didn’t wanna leave my social media pages just sitting to die… soo I have decided to give my social media accounts to @troybeckerig because he is one of the dopest people I know and he is literally my younger twin😂 my much younger twin I believe Troy is 15 or 16 years old hahaha.”

View this post on Instagram

Hey it’s Paul Zimmer, this is prolly gonna be my last social post ever. I must say that I am very grateful for social media and I have had such a fun time using all these different social platforms and having the opportunity to entertain millions of people for many years 🙏🏼 with this being said I have come to a place in my life where being in the spotlight and being an entertainer is no longer my passion… although it deeply saddens me to leave so bluntly, especially that so many of you have watched me for so many years…. I didn’t wanna leave my social media pages just sitting to die… soo I have decided to give my social media accounts to @troybeckerig because he is one of the dopest people I know and he is literally my younger twin😂 my much younger twin I believe Troy is 15 or 16 years old hahaha😂 I know that @troybeckerig is busy filming his TV show and a movie but I hope he spends some time on here to bring joy to y’all! Thank you all so much for supporting me, I am sending all of my love to each and everyone of you ❤️

A post shared by @ paulzimmer on

The account has since received a few posts from “Troy,” but Zimmer’s followers remain largely unconvinced that the young actor is anyone other than Zimmer himself. Comments like “Paul it’s really creepy you’re pretending to be 16,” and “nobody is falling for it,” populate “Troy’s” posts on TikTok, and multiple followers have commented that Troy and Zimmer have the same voice.

In short, Zimmer’s bizarre attempt to uncancel himself is at best unconvincing and at worst deeply troubling, and 2020 is as weird a time as ever to be on the internet.

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