The Twitter parody account @salondotcom got the Royal of the Boot Wednesday evening due to an alleged violation of the microblogging giant’s terms of service. The co-creator of the parody account tells National Review Online that Twitter, which requires such accounts to be clearly marked as parodies in order to protect the stupid, shut the account down.
(Disclosure: This reporter worked with Bloom at The Daily Caller, where he is the opinion editor, and I consider Bloom to be among the most redoubtable people in Washington. He is also indefatigable and dauntless.)
Earlier this month, NRO’s Celina Durgin wrote about Bloom and Mariani’s parody of Salon.com, a San Francisco publication with a nearly two-decade pedigree of interesting left-liberal journalism that has, according to many observers including this observer, taken a nose dive in general quality and interest within the last two or three years.
Today we are all SalonDotCom #FreeSalonDotCom— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) July 17, 2014
#SalonExcuses Humor is thousands of years old. It’s 2014. Humor is backwards and outdated.— Salon.cx (@nydwracu) July 17, 2014
While Bloom acknowledges that Twitter’s sarcasm-disclosure policy does appear to be consistent with its terms of service, his rhetorical question raises an important point: Labeling something a “parody” or “satirical” is like elbowing a person in the ribs when you tell a joke. To the extent people are unable to recognize parody, this performs the useful social function of making clear who the dummies among us are.
Though many supporters have speculated that Salon’s representatives requested Twitter sanction the parody site, Bloom does not claim to have any information in that regard. An e-mail and phone call to Salon’s New York office were not returned by press time. The long-struggling site’s San Francisco phone number has been disconnected.