Amid Flint crisis, Diet Dr Pepper trades water for Twitter handle

One woman wasn't giving up her Twitter handle so easy.


Selena Larson


Posted on Mar 29, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 12:41 am CDT

Squatting on Twitter handles for brands and celebs can sometimes be financially rewarding, or at least occasionally entertaining when the mobs mix you up with someone or something famous. 

But Diana Hussein from Dearborn, Michigan, proud owner of @DietDrPepper since 2009, used her brand name handle to do more than just squeeze a few bucks out of a corporate refreshment. 

As the Detroit Free Press reports, Hussein traded the branded handle for $5,000 worth of bottled water—about 41,000 bottles—to be distributed in Flint, Michigan.

Flint is embroiled in a major public health crisis as a result of lead-contaminated water and lack of government oversight. 

In mid-January, Diet Dr Pepper’s parent company Dr Pepper Snapple Group reached out to Hussein and offered her “swag” in exchange for giving up the handle. She offered it to the company in 2013, though at the time it didn’t show any interest. 

“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at first. Just about everyone I spoke to told me that I shouldn’t just give them the handle,” Hussein told the Free Press. “Especially not just for ‘swag.'” 

The company doesn’t appear to be using the Twitter handle, but it worked out a deal with Hussein anyway.

Earlier this month, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group delivered a truckload of DeJa Blue water to the residents of Flint to provide families and the community with safe drinking water.

H/T Detroit Free Press | Photo via diversey/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2016, 7:24 pm CDT