Parody next right on the chopping block in good old HRM

I don’t make a lot of bones about it.  I hope to serve the public in some capacity some day, elected or otherwise.  I love a challenge, and representing the people is one of the biggest challenges there is.

That being said, I worry that having your sense of humor surgically removed might be a pre-requisite of running for office, or managing any part of civil society.  I’m not sure I am willing to go the distance.  I like my funny bone.

Case in point – this article today in Metro (it also ran in the Herald):

Councillor not amused by fake Twitter account

South End Coun. Sue Uteck says she is considering legal action after discovering she was being lampooned on the social networking site Twitter.

A Twitter account with the handle “fakesueuteck” was created Wednesday afternoon. The user wrote several messages which Uteck feels besmirched her reputation, including shots at “fakemayorkelly” and flirtations with “fakepetermackay.”

The account was deleted early Thursday afternoon, but a cached version listed the user as “helping council be more dysfunctional one stupid comment at a time.”

The real Uteck said she learned of the account when contacted by media on Thursday.

“I haven’t seen it, (but) apparently it’s quite offensive in some respects,” she said. “Personally, I feel violated, like somebody broke into my house.”

Uteck said she still hopes to find out who was behind it — and possibly sue.

“If I get there, I will be testing the water,” she said.

Sue needs to harden the heck up.  If she succeeds in running for Mayor, or runs for provincial or federal office, she can look forward to 22 Minutes, Picnicface, the hard working folks at comedy nights around the city to ramp up their, er, interest in her.

Think about it – if Cathy Jones or Geri Hall end up making fun of you by pretending to be you, that is parody, and it is normal and defensible and no politician would ever to threaten to “test the water” with suing anyone at 22 Minutes.

Maybe the success of the Fire chief suing the Coast for the names of the anonymous posters has whetted Council members appetite to take on the internet.  Maybe Tim Bousquet at the Coast has just pissed off one to many people with his live council blogging.  Maybe stepping on peoples rights to free speech by banning all postering on poles was just the first step for HRM.

This Twitter issue is exactly the same as being parodied by 22 Minutes, or being made fun of by any comedian.

Sure, Uteck says that some constituents were confused and thought “fakesueuteck” was actually real Sue Uteck.

Maybe there even really are some South End North West Arm constituents who really are also confused about whether 22 Minutes is actually a news show or not.

This does not mean that you can sue CBC to shut the show down.  It means you take it, take it like a politician.

Demonstrating both zero sense of humour and no understanding of twitter or social media, Uteck reveals more about herself than the fake twitter poster ever did.

More important to me as a long standing tech geek and gadget nerd is why has Twitter already deleted the newer @ParodyUteck account from its service?

The fake posting was probably deleted by Twitter under their Impersonation Policy, but I would argue that these accounts have a lot more to do with the Parody, Commentary, and Fan Accounts Policy listed a bit farther down the page.

Parody is allowed under Twitters own rules.  Hopefully one of the fake posters complains right back to twitter, and the account is restored.

Oh, and in closing, I am not, I swear to god, any of the fake posters, and if I was, I would tell you.

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