By Jemima Kiss: Further proof, if we needed it, that the Daily Mail (LSE: DMGT) has no sense of humour. Some wag created the inevitable spoof account for the Mail on Twitter, which resulted in various diverting tweets including: “God bless Prince Harry! He’s only saying what we’re all thinking…“ and “@maggiethatcherUK How DARE you impersonate Britain’s greatest ever Prime Minister? Is Twitter full of fakes and boring gits?“….
… But no sooner had the fun began than the account name DailyMail_UK was cruelly snatched away and replaced with NotDailyMail_UK. The Daily Mail and General Trust lawyers had emailed Twitter complaining, according to Twitter’s response, prompting them to change the login name and password without warning.
The mystery Twitterer said he created the account in response to “a pathetic and rather lacklustre piece of ‘journalism’ in the Daily Mail“, so it is really surprising it didn’t happen before. Particularly when you take a peek at the official Mail Twitter feed which spews out headlines all day without actually attempting to engage with anybody in the manner of, oh, I don’t know – a social media tool?
The problem is that Twitter’s response explicitly describes that impersonation is acceptable in the case of parody: “The standard for defining parody is, “Would a reasonable person be aware that it’s a joke?” I think we know the answer to that. What on earth did DMGT’s lawyers say to Twitter to get them to buckle so absolutely? Perhaps our US colleagues underestimated the value of – and demand for – a Daily Mail parody channel…
“I am not naive,” writes NotDailyMail_UK. “I know that writing a parody of the litigious bastards at The Daily Mail was likely to land me in a spot of bother. But I rather did think that Twitter might show some backbone or – at the very least – allow me to have my say before they gave away my account….”
This article originally appeared in Â© Guardian News & Media Ltd..