Just a few days after a California law banning certain Internet impersonations (or e-personations) went into effect, Apple
has complained to Twitter about the @ceoSteveJobs Twitter account. While that account has over 370,000 followers, its most famous Tweet came last year when the U.K.'s Daily Mail quoted a post that said Apple might have have to recall the iPhone 4.
We may have to recall the new iPhone. This, I did not expect.
There's no doubt that to most, the account is hilarious (probably not to Apple). Examples of recent Tweets:
About the iPhone's recent New Year's alarm issues:
Regarding the iOS' auto-correction problems:
- All mobile phones have alarm problems. Press conference Tuesday.
- You're setting it wrong.
- Please don't call this #alarmgate. That makes it seem like we did something wrong.
- The next iPhone update includes several autocorrection fixes. For instance, typing "Android" will autocorrect to "hemorrhoid."
Now, the new law does not cover parody. In fact, it says that an illegal e-personation is one that intends to "harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud." However, that said, there are Twitter
rules in place that the account violates, and Apple may simply have waited for the law to go into effect to give its complaint more power.
The owner of the account has been notified
that Twitter has received a "valid report” that the account is in violation of the Twitter parody policy
The Twitter parody policy, which the company says was not modified after the California law went into effect, gives the following guidelines about a username:
The username should not be the exact name of the subject of the parody, commentary, or fandom; to make it clearer, you should distinguish the account with a qualifier such as "not," "fake," or "fan."
Given the warning, the bio of the account has been changed to explicitly include the word "parody," as in "More than meets the i. As you should expect from a parody account."
Christof, as he's being called, still needs to change his username. He's concerned that a name change will take half the fun (or more) away, and that all the "good" Steve Jobs usernames with "fake" are taken. He said:
“Most parody doesn’t blatantly label itself. That takes away the fun and the magic of it. If @bpglobalpr had been @fakebp, it wouldn’t have caught on nearly as fast and might never have been as funny. Once you got the joke, the fact that it felt like it was really coming from BP made it all the funnier.”
True, but rules are rules, and these aren't even California's rules, but rather Twitter's rules. Additionally, it's pretty well known that Apple doesn't have much of a sense of humor. Hey, they even killed off that uber-cool Steve Jobs
action figure! And, as noted by @ceoSteveJobs:
Bought my daughters two of those rare Steve Jobs action figures for Christmas. Well, they're rare now.