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Twitter Suspends Student’s Parody Account And Hands It Over To School

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Twitter suspended a college student’s parody account he had created to mock his school. The platform then handed it over to the university’s administrators.

 

A SUNY Geneseo student posted his frustration after losing access to the parody Twitter account he had made to poke fun at his school’s social media presence and communication with students.

 

The university made a complaint to Twitter about the account. In response, Twitter transferred ownership of the account from the student to the school.

 

Isaiah Kelly, a 20-year-old sophomore at SUNY Geneseo from Brighton, created the parody account. He found that out that Twitter had locked him out of the account on 29th February 2020. The account ran under the handle @SUNYGenseeo.

 

He created the parody account in January 2020, replicating the look of SUNY Geneseo’s official Twitter account. The parody account had the same profile picture and banner as well as the same bio.

 

twitter suspends students parody account
The parody account after the suspension. Photo:  Isaiah Kelly

 

SUNY Geneseo had power issues all through January.  At least nine dorms on campus lost power for almost 24 hours at the time. The situation left students without any central heating with temperatures in the mid-20s. Kelly says he made light of the power situation with the parody account on Twitter.

 

However, Twitter informed him he’d have to change the name of the account. A directive which he failed to comply with.

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While the blackout ensued on campus, Kelly posted, “lol forgot to pay the power bill.” Then he also made a post saying the school’s president would hand out cookies, “since we have nothing else to offer our students.”

 

After those tweets, Kelly announced that he had been locked out of the parody account by Twitter.’

 

The incident generated a lot of media attention which also included a post by Business Insider.

 

“We’re a pretty small campus, maybe like 5000-6000 (students). I would understand if the SUNY Geneseo page was followed by a ton of people; but for Twitter to just hand it over when it’s not that big of a deal, I think it’s pretty crazy,” Kelly says.”

Twitter handed out the wrong punishment

A spokesperson for Twitter told WXXI News that it made a mistake about turning over access to Kelly’s parody account to college officials. That it should, meanwhile, have suspended the parody count for impersonation.

 

Twitter’s policy also says the punishment for violating this policy is the account’s suspension.

 

This is the first time Twitter will hand over a parody account to the account to the original account. Its rules as stated in its privacy and policy statement makes the appropriate punishment a suspension. However, Twitter adjudged that Kelly’s parody account was in violation of a policy about impersonating another account and afterward turned access over to SUNY Geneseo.

 

Twitter has now suspended the account.

 

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