Twitter may unmask parody account after court order

Decides not to fight back for joker

Twitter has told the owner of a spoof account that it will hand their identity over after receiving a court order to that effect.

The UnSteveDorkland account pokes fun at senior Northcliffe Media exec Steve Auckland – Northcliffe Media is a regional newspaper company and subsidiary of the Daily Mail.

The account holder was told that Twitter will pass their identity, email address and IP address to Northcliffe Media on August 1 after the company took out an injunction against Twitter in the US.

Spoof

However, UnSteveDorkland is looking into fighting back, possibly with the help of a Calilfornian lawyer who "has expressed an interest in representing me pro bono".

Speaking to the Guardian, he or she said, "It was a parody, pure and simple. Made a few people laugh, I hope. Pointed out some of the absurdities of corporate life.

"It is Steve Auckland who has elevated this beyond all that by hunting me down via a US court. He must now face the consequences of his actions, as we all must. I am supremely confident I have done nothing illegal or immoral."

This isn't the first time that Twitter has been forced to roll over in the face of legal action against a user: in 2011 it handed over user IDs during the great superinjunction libel case.

But washing its hands of a joke Twitter account is in stark contrast to its handling of the case of Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris, in which it is fighting tooth and nail to keep from giving prosecuters access to Harris' tweets.

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