Apparently the execs at The New York Times do not have a sense of humor. The paper complained to Twitter about a parody account, called @NYTOnIt, which posted many ridiculous and obviously stupid trend stories published by the Times. The account is now suspended. A sample tweet from NYTOnIt was “Guys, boys want muscles and the Times is ON IT.”
According to Poynter, the paper said that the account’s use of the Times “T” is a violation of its trademark. Never mind that the NYTOnIt account, written by Benjamin Kabak, has an altered logo and even includes “This is a parody account clearly not associated with any newspaper” in its bio.
Eileen Murphy, spokesperson for the Times, admitted to Poynter that the paper had complained.
“We’re not seeking to disable the account, however it is important to The Times that our copyright is protected and that it is clear to all users of Twitter that parody accounts or other unofficial Times accounts are not affiliated nor endorsed by The Times.”
In other words, the Times thinks we’re all idiots who can’t grasp the concept of a parody. There still might be hope for the account though, as Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, said she “will ask questions today but such legal matters may be beyond me.”
The Times is being ridiculous and acting like a bully, and the Times is on it.
UPDATE (12:00 pm):
Following an appeal from Kabak, Twitter has reinstated NYTOnit, minus the logo.