Thursday, October 22, 2009

After Twitter shuts down GOP accounts impersonating Dems, party complains of ‘free speech’ infringements.


Twitter has shut down 33 fake accounts created by Connecticut Republicans meant to impersonate Democratic state representatives. According to the Hartford Advocate, the GOP scheme was designed “to send out posts under the Democrats’ names mocking the liberal tax-and-spend bastards.” Twitter strictly forbids impersonation “intended to mislead, confuse or deceive others” on its site. However, the state GOP chairman is now complaining that Republicans’ “free speech” rights are being violated:

“That’s unfortunate,” was state Republican Chairman Chris Healy’s response when told of Twitter, Inc.’s decision. “I’m not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech.

Healy’s party may have suffered a setback with the loss of its Twitter campaign, but Republicans are still operating the 33 Web sites they created using the names of those same Democratic lawmakers. As far as anyone knows, this is the first time any state party has used such a tactic to mock its state opponents.

Healy is also claiming that Democrats are protesting the fake sites because they’re just jealous: “They didn’t think of it first, so that’s why they’re whining.” But political communications experts say that the sites are clearly unethical and “deceptive.”
(HT: Blue Mass Group)

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