Twitter has no problem with parody accounts, as long as you abide by the rules. However, when someone skates too far over the line into impersonation, the fallout affects both sides.
After Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke made some questionable comments about the opening weekend box office success of The Dark Knight Rises following last month’s Aurora, Colo. shootings, a spoof account in her name popped up.
As with Instagram parody account @Instagrarn, the @NIKKlFINKE handle (with a lowercase “L” at the end of “Nikki”) was almost identical to Finke’s real name as well as her own handle: @NIKKIFINKE. The account’s bio, however, made it clear that it was a parody.
Yet in her apparent attempt to have the parody shut down, Finke’s account was suspended too.
It also tweeted a series of funny fake headlines along with legit-looking links to the Deadline website. It posted article titles like “Nobel Prize Winning Economist Paul Krugman Joins 'Gossip Girl' Cast,” “James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Inspired By Taking Acid And Looking At Default Windows XP Wallpaper,” and “Weblog Boing Boing Launches Multiplatform Animated Series 'Steampunk Meme Cats'”
Yet it seems the parody was almost too good. New York Times media reporter David Carr once retweeted the spoof account, believing it to be the real deal. That irked the real Finke.
The Atlantic notes that another account, apparently stated by the same person behind the spoof, has sprung up.
“In trying to suspend my parody Twitter, Nikki Finke—or someone from PMC—accidentally suspended Finke's own Twitter,” wrote @not_nikkifinke (PMC presumably refers to Deadline owner Penske Media Group).
Meanwhile, the parodist claims that the real Finke couldn’t tell the difference between the handles on the two accounts.
UPDATE: Finke's official account has been reinstated by Twitter after the mix-up.
Photo via @NIKKIFINKE/Twitter