Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Twitter Deletes Parody Targeting ADL's Foxman for 9/11 Mosque Views

Social networking sites' terms of service are meant to prevent fraud, defamation and hate speech, not the expression of legitimate political sentiments, however controversial. But enforcing them can sometimes have the same effect.

In late July, an anonymous user of Twitter, the microblogging service, created a parody account to criticize Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, over his opposition to the so-called "Ground Zero mosque." While the Twitter stream was titled "(Not) Abe Foxman," it used the handle @abefoxman. "I oppose bigotry against Muslims, except when I support bigotry against Muslims," (Not) Abe Foxman wrote in a typical Tweet.

But on August 2, all of (Not) Abe Foxman's posts were deleted. That was done at the request of the ADL, confirms, Steve Sheinberg, the group's associate director for civil rights and a special assistant to Foxman. The ADL made its complaint on the grounds that it violated two of Twitter's rules: one that prohibits impersonation, and another that forbids unauthorized use of trademarks. "People are going to make parody," says Sheinberg. But with (Not) Abe Foxman using the ADL logo, and with his Tweets popping up in other users' feeds simply as @abefoxman, "that become, in our view, crossing the line." More @

1 comment:

Abe'Shitstorm'Foxman said...

Quite right!