U.K. newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media has dropped efforts to find out the identity of the person parodying CEO Steve Auckland on Twitter.
Northcliffe, a regional publisher owned by the Daily Mail, had subpoenaed Twitter to discover the identity of the man behind @unstevedorkland, though it withdrew its complaint and subpoena Thursday after an attempt to quash the court order.
Twitter was set to hand over all information it had on the man to Northcliffe by Wednesday, but that was delayed when a lawyer acting on the spoofer’s behalf filed a motion in a Northern California court to block the subpoena.
Northcliffe also lodged a complaint accusing the man of libel and suggesting he’d hacked into a company email account.
"This has been a shameful and unnecessary action by Northcliffe Media," the anonymous parodist told the Guardian. "The management of Northcliffe Media should be spending its time, resources and attention on supporting, protecting and developing its loyal and hard-working staff, rather than attempting to suggest my tweets were in any way affecting morale or performance of the company.”
Northcliffe confirmed to the paper that it had waved the white flag in its bid to unmask @unstevedorkland, though a spokeswoman claimed the legal action was less about freedom of speech than a “barrage of anonymous tweets that amounted to cyber-bullying and harassment."
She added that while the man may have intended his tweets to be humorous, “these tweets went far beyond commentary and satire, causing pain and offence.”
Northcliffe backed down because further attempts to work through the court system “would require direct involvement of the very staff we are anxious to protect,” according to the spokeswoman. A hearing had been set for September prior to Northcliffe’s withdrawal.
In its complaint, Northcliffe accused the spoofer of computer fraud and abuse, computer data access and fraud, and defamation. The man denied those allegations.
The parodist suggested he may now continue doing what caused all this commotion in the first place: poking fun at Auckland.
Photo by nanny snowflake
Texans are adopting dogs in droves to rescue them from flooded animal shelters
Now this is Southern hospitality.78k
This photo of an Army widow at her husband's grave reminds us what Memorial Day is all about
Laureen Lopez-Berry's husband Richard was killed by a car bomb in Afghanistan in 2012.39k
How to play every classic video game on your phone
The best '80s and '90s consoles in the palm of your hand.21k
This 'Bob's Burgers' writer will hate-watch 'Entourage' for charity
She's trying to raise a total of $10,000 for CureSearch.
Tiny bear cubs have the world's cutest wrestling match
Can. Not. Handle. This.8