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Albert Einstein Has a Social Media Team

How the famed physicist tweets from beyond the grave

Albert Einstein, pondering the mysteries of the universe—or maybe just writing a killer tweet. (Corbis)
smithsonian.com

Albert Einstein was more known for his mind than his media savvy. Though his observations on life and the universe may seem tailor-made for today's internet, the famed physicist died in 1955, roughly a half-century before social media even existed. But that doesn't mean "Albert Einstein" can't tweet: he has a social media team and millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter, reports Amy Nordrum for the International Business Times.

A marketing team at Corbis Entertainment manages Einstein's social media accounts, Nordrum reports. Corbis was hired by The Hebrew University, which has handled Einstein's archives, intellectual property and public image since his death in 1955. The team, which handles posthumous licensing requests, reportedly gets autograph requests too.

And so, Nordrum writes, Einstein's likeness was brought to life online—with a few parameters:

So what's it like to run the social media account of the world's most famous scientist? There are a few hard and fast rules. [Anthony Iliakostas, who runs Einstein's social media], is careful not to tweet as if he is actually Albert Einstein, preferring an objective voice. He does not respond to current events, promote emerging research or pontificate on developing news….As a result, Einstein's content ranges from the serious to the silly.

Managing a dead celebrity's public image isn't as uncommon as it may seem. Tupac Shakur has released multiple albums and performed at Coachella from beyond the grave. Audrey Hepburn and Bruce Lee appeared in commercials years after their deaths. Posthumous celebrity endorsements are big business, even when it's not clear who gets the money.

Though @AlbertEinstein won't remark on present-day issues, the real Einstein may have appreciated our interconnected digital world. In a 1949 essay, he wrote, "Man is, at one and at the same time, a solitary being and a social being." Isn't that a terrific description of the internet experience? Maybe the physicist behind the theory of relativity would have enjoyed debating its merits on Twitter.

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