Remember those fake Twitter accounts the Connecticut Republican Party created?
Well, Twitter has sided with the Democrats in this cyber battle du jour and has agreed to take them all down because they violate the company’s impersonation clause.
“Impersonation is against our terms unless it’s parody,” Laura at Twitter wrote in an email Wednesday to Speaker of the House Chris Donovan’s policy director.
“The standard for defining parody is, ‘Would a reasonable person be aware that it’s a joke?’ Because this is not the case in your situation, we have removed the profile(s) from circulation,” Laura from Twitter wrote.
Josh Nassi, policy director for Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, wrote to the company early Wednesday morning and asked for all 33 of the fake accounts with names like “MeetRepDonovan” and “MeetRepMerrill” to be removed. Nassi explained in his email to Twitter that state Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, was successful in getting his fake Twitter account removed. Lesser does have a real Twitter account, which he uses to post updates from the Capitol and his district.
Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy had contended when the issue came up earlier this month that the sites were indeed parody.
“It’s no secret who is behind these sites,” Healy has said. “If they don’t like it, too bad.”
“The purchase and construction of these websites and Twitter accounts has been transparent and completely up front,” Healy said on Oct. 2. “We are using this technology telling the truth and if the Democrats don’t like it – too bad.”
“It’s hard to claim you’re telling the truth when you’re breaking rules and operating under false pretenses,” Donovan said Wedneday in an emailed statement. “I am sorry we had to spend even five minutes on this issue, at a time when the people of Connecticut and our economic challenges deserve our full attention.”
“Parody can be flattering. Impersonation is wrong,” Donovan said. “Some have called their efforts ‘innovative.’ I would call them deceptive and dishonest.”
Each of the 33 fake Twitter accounts set up by the Republican Party have corresponding Web sites.
However, there’s nothing the Democrats can do about the fake Web sites, which each contain a disclaimer at the bottom saying they were paid for by the Connecticut Republican Party.