A flurry of tweets and all of a sudden I found myself with over 700 followers. About 6 times more than the "official" Daily Mail twitter. Not bad for a week's work.
A few minor blogs such as PressGazette picked up the "story" of a Daily Mail twitter account and taht - I thought was that. Until...
All of a sudden and with no warning I was locked out of Twitter.
I checked through my email archives. One minute I was receiving email to @dailymail_uk like this...
A scant 45 minutes later, I was receiving emails to @notdailmail_ukI checked, double checked and - for the hell of it - triple checked all my inboxes, labels, spam folders and deleted items. There was no sign of twitter sending me any notification as to when or wherefore they had disabled my account.
Using my 1337 h4x0ring skillz (the "Resend Password" facility") I got back access to my renamed account.
I raised a question at GetSatisfaction - which directed me to raise a support request.
I politely asked them what they were playing at. Here is their reply...
We did send out the following notification yesterday. Did you check your spam folder?
We received a letter from the Associated Newspapers Limited, part of Daily Mail & General
Trust Plc, legal adviser. regarding Trademark violation and impersonation.
We've received a complaint from a fellow Twitterer . It has come to our attention that your Twitter account:
is in violation of our basic Terms of Service, specifically article 4 which mentions impersonation:
4. You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Twitter users.
In this case "impersonation" is the issue. Impersonation is against our terms of service unless it's parody. The standard for defining parody is, "Would a reasonable person be aware that it's a joke."
To settle this issue we've removed the profile image and changed the user name to "notdailymail_uk" in the full name and username fields in order to eliminate confusion. You can change your real and user names to something else if you'd like:
1. Visit Twitter.com/settings
2. Edit the Full Name and Username fields
3. Click "Save"
Please honor Twitter's Terms of Service accordingly. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
So, the Daily Wail set their lawyers on to Twitter and Twitter - being American - understand neither irony nor sarcasm.
Naturally, I responded to them...
I have yet to receive a response.
The account is a parody. I refer you to the following tweets
At least 6 reasonable people think that the account is a parody. I would hope, from reading the tweets, you would also come to the same conclusion.
Please will you reinstate the account with its original username of @dailymail_uk.
I would also be grateful if you could furnish me with a copy of the letter purporting to be from Associated Newspapers Limited.
I am not naive. 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.
Next time you log on to your favourite social network - be it Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, or even, god help you, MySpace - ask yourself; how well do you trust the owners?
If the owner of your social network decide to get rid of you - for malicious or incompetant reasons - what recourse would you have...?
Let me repeat that. You do not have any control over your Twitter account, Facebook account or MySpace Page. It can be taken from you at any minute.
The case continues...