Let me introduce you to @gillianmckeith.
This is a Twitter account in the name of Gillian McKeith.
There is no doubt that it is the official Twitter account of Ms McKeith. For example, until earlier today her official website linked to it. And so did her official YouTube account.
So, as I said, there can be no doubt that @gillianmckeith is the official Twitter account of Ms McKeith.
Less clear, however, is who sends tweets from that Twitter account.
The obvious candidate would be Ms McKeith. Many of the tweets are in the first person and refer to personal and family matters.
But there may be others who have control and conduct of her account from time to time.
In any case, it would be safe to assume that whoever it is, they tweet on behalf of Ms McKeith.
As I cannot - with certainty - state who tweets as @gillianmckeith then I will refer to that person simply as "@gillianmckeith" - that is the person who is tweeting as Ms McKeith, even if Ms McKeith is not immediately aware of the tweets herself.
But why does this matter?
Well, the conduct of the @gillianmckeith account may be raising questions as to the integrity and honesty of Ms McKeith herself.
It can be demonstrated (in now deleted tweets) that @gillianmckeith accused Dr Ben Goldacre of publishing lies in his book Bad Science.
Dr Goldacre may be many things, but there is no question as to his integrity and honesty.
An accusation of dishonesty against Dr Goldacre, who emphasises an evidence-based and transparent approach, is a fairly serious allegation.
To my mind, Dr Goldacre was libelled by that tweet of @gillianmckeith.
And unless she can justify it, or defend it as a fair comment, he could proceed to sue the author of that statement.
(It is to his credit that he says that all he would want is a tweet saying that there are no lies in Bad Science.)
So the official Twitter account of Ms McKeith accuses Dr Goldacre of publishing lies.
However, it cannot be shown that the tweets were those of Ms McKeith directly but they were at least sent by someone on her behalf. There certainly was no subsequent apology for the libel; instead the tweets were just deleted.
By raising the issue of the integrity and honesty of Dr Goldacre, it is arguable that the author of the accusation also implicitly raised the issue of the integrity and honesty of Ms McKeith.
This is important for what happens next.
Earlier today, the @gillianmckeith account published a sequence of tweets about her doctorate. These tweets were written in the third person.
However, these tweets were quickly deleted.
And then a remarkable tweet appeared, which has still not been deleted.
It said: "Do you actually believe this is real twitter site for the GM?"
Again, this tweet was in the third person (though the addition of the definite article suggests rather breathtaking egotism).
The only natural and ordinary meaning of this tweet was to make the reader think that @gillianmckeith was not the official Twitter account for Ms McKeith.
The tweet was at best misleading.
It was swiftly pointed out to @gillianmckeith that the official website of Ms McKeith contained a link to the Twitter account.
And what happened next was astonishing and will be remembered by all those lucky enough to have watched the events unfold earlier today.
The links to @gillianmckeith were suddenly removed from her official sites.
An examination of the HTML showed that the links were not deleted but "commented out".
This exercise makes it easier for a webmaster to restore the code without having to re-code from scratch. At first the comment out was in respect of just the Twitter link, but soon all the links to social media were commented out.
Unless the website was hacked into, the commenting out was done by someone with authorised access to the HTML code.
This person may be Ms McKeith, but - if not - it would be a person who was acting on her behalf and who was aware of the misleading tweet.
The most plausible explanation is that it was either Ms McKeith or someone acting on her instructions.
(I suspect the latter, as I understand commenting out to be a technique often used by webmasters when faced with unclear instructions to remove material, as it is easily restored.)
The question then becomes what explains this sudden modification to the website code.
There could be a completely innocent explanation.
It may be that there was a scheduled web redesign.
It may be that there were things being said about Ms McKeith on Twitter which would make it understandable for the official website to not want to send traffic there.
There are other, less innocent explanations.
One possible explanation is that the code modification and the misleading tweet were part of a concerted and deliberate effort to mislead people as to the official status of the @gillianmckeith Twitter account.
We are not yet in a position to know if this was the case and, as it is a serious allegation, I do not adopt it until I have verified certain information,
But if that is the correct explanation, then - in the context of @gillianmckeith having attacked the integrity and honesty of Dr Goldacre - there could be an adverse impact on the integrity and honesty of Ms McKeith.
For a concerted and deliberate effort to mislead people is of course what @gillianmckeith said was being done by Dr Goldacre with his "lies".
There may well be a full and complete explanation for the code modification and misleading tweet, a coupling of events which would otherwise raise a question as to the integrity and honesty of Ms McKeith.
No defamatory meaning is implied by any of the above, and none should be inferred.
It is possible that Ms McKeith herself is blissfully unaware of what happened and will be horrified at what was done by those with control over both her website and twitter account.
Further information is required and is being sought, although I have not yet had any response.
But, depending on that further information (or whether any further information is forthcoming), we will then be able to form a view as to the integrity and honesty of Ms McKeith.
Many thanks to the dozens of Twitterers who have provided material which I will use for the blogpost to follow.
I also would like to commend @zenbuffy, whose speedy and thorough account of today's absurdities is an example of blogging at its very best.
No purely anonymous comments will be published; always use a name for ease of reference by other commenters.
NO DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS ABOUT GILLIAN MCKEITH WILL BE PUBLISHED.