Long live @King_Angus.
That's the message sent by the anonymous critic behind two Twitter accounts impersonating Angus King, the former governor of Maine who’s now running as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate.
Early Monday, the first account mysteriously disappeared. Within hours King's campaign launched its own Twitter account, @AngusKing2012. But “King Angus” wouldn't be silenced. Soon after @King_Angus_II was born.
The first account was established just days before King, a wildly popular political figure in the state, announced that he was going to run as an independent to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe, who shocked Maine’s political world when she announced last month that she wouldn't seek reelection.
The parody account—allowed under Twitter's policies—even gained the attention of local newspapers and reporters who were trying to guess who was behind it. The spoof surprised King, who last held office in 2003, a time when parody Twitter accounts weren't something he had to deal with.
“Already ... some bozo set up a Twitter feed purporting to be me—Angus King—with my picture, with all these crappy Twitters. I mean, what kind of world is this?” King told the Portland Press Herald on March 14.
Parody accounts are now just part of the political landscape. Just look at @MayorEmanuel, the account established by journalism professor Dan Sinker that mocked Rahm Emanuel during his run for mayor of Chicago.
When King’s parodist reappeared as @King_Angus_II, the person behind the account declared that the first one had followed Twitter's parody guidelines. The new account's user profile read “This is (still) a parody, you imperious prick.”
A campaign spokesperson acknowledged Monday it had reported the account to Twitter for impersonation. The company sent an email to the accountholder on Sunday stating the account had been closed.
King’s parodist, unfazed, used the first account’s suspension—and King’s cranky response—as fresh material.
“I'm fed up. Did Thomas Jefferson or Pericles have to deal with these bozo imposters on the Internet? I really doubt it,” @King_Angus_II wrote.
By Monday evening, @King_Angus_II had 86 followers. @AngusKing2012 had 74.