wholeworld
Just like I was too slow to grab @kris, many countries weren't able to get their own names registered. So who did? The results are pretty funny.

The Twitter gold rush is long over. The short, snappy, memorable handles were snapped up eons ago, and you'll be lucky to find a good name that doesn't require adding a number to it.

But just like I was too slow to grab @kris, many countries weren't able to get their own names registered. Too late. A squatter nabbed it, and he'll sit on it until he's paid off.

Quick aside here: Of course, not every country will want to promote itself using the English-language version of its name as its handle. Alas, @Deutchland (Germany) was snapped up, as was @nippon (Japan). There are other reasons country handles might not be available: 36 were suspended as of November.

But it's not the end of the line if you failed to grab your proper handle in time. Australia's tourism board recently took over @australia, while one good Samaritan returned @canada and @japan to their rightful owners. 

But not before Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper was sent the saddest tweet ever:

Here's a look at some of the country handles that don't belong to the nations in question.

Sorry, America

Both @UnitedStates and @USA are under rebel rule. The former is a travel company, the latter shares "news, facts, history & general opinion" and must have a really annoying mentions stream.

German inefficiency 

Germany, uncharacteristically, failed to be organized in time to grab @germany and @deutschland. From a branding perspective, that's a terrible move.

Small nations, small follower numbers

On Twitter, East Timor is ruled by an Australian lawyer. Liechtenstein is governed a Spanish-speaking Queens Park Rangers soccer and Community fan. Madagascar, meanwhile, belongs to DreamWorks Animation, which made a series of films under that land's name. Those poor nations.

Not-so-Great Britain

@GreatBritain is government-run. Shame Her Majesty's Parliament couldn't get a handle on the accounts for Blighty's constituent countries.

Yep, you guessed it, the Welsh name for Wales is taken up by a squatter too.

Same name, different handles

There are a few countries in the world whose names double up as the names of actual people. Sure enough, those were snapped up by people with the matching names.

This is the original Jordan, sans numbers.

That golf connection

@Kenya has an interest in what golfer Paul Azinger has to say. Yeah, we don't know either.

NOT EGYPT THE COUNTRY. OK?

"J," you have our interest.

The protestor

@Bahrain appears to belong to someone involved in protests against the Bahraini regime.

"The ID is not for sell"

An Indian man living in China, @India is happy to share photos. He has no intention of handing over his sought-after handle to anyone else.

There are many others, such as @Nepal, @Oman, and @SriLanka, that belong to individuals rather than governments. Many are news feeds related to their respective countries, and dozens are dormant, Twiplomacy found.

Of all the tweets from all the people with random country names as their handles, this is probably the best:

Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Society
Facebook shocked that a woman runs I F*cking Love Science
When the owner of the most popular science page on Facebook revealed her identity the other day, the reaction was sadly predictable. "OMG GIRL," came the crescendo of comments from dumbfounded men (and a few women). It was as if Elise Andrew had infiltrated a 19th century scientific conference and suddenly ripped off a fake mustache in front of the assembled muttering menfolk. Cue pipes falling from open mouths. Shock! Awe! A woman!
Society
How to spot a white supremacist on Twitter
For as long as the Internet has been commonplace, law enforcement agents have found it helpful in catching criminals (and not just the stupid ones who post video evidence of their crimes on YouTube, either). Extremist groups—such as the various American white-supremacist organizations—also find the Internet useful for connecting with like-minded people.
The Latest From Daily Dot Video
Group

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!