The Twitterverse is abuzz today with the news that the microblogging service has removed tweeter @Peter_Angelos. As I wrote in April, the person using the name of the personal injury mogul and Orioles owner was obviously not Angelos himself, but he did deliver some funny parody.
It shortly became clear that @Peter_Angelos isn’t really dead, though. He’s now known as @UnPeterAngelos. The same photo used for @Peter_Angelos is used for the new account, with the addition of a black bar over the eyes. The profile for the new account contains the sentence, “Disclaimer: This is a fake account, stupid.”
I conducted an e-mail interview with the guy behind @UnPeterAngelos this afternoon. He (yes, he confirmed that much) said he didn’t want to do a phone interview because he’s still debating whether he wants to “come out” as the man behind the tweets.
He said that he got an e-mail from Twitter telling him that someone had complained about the account. The Twitter folks let him keep all his followers and his tweet history; they just changed the name to @NotPeterAngelos (which he then changed to @UnPeterAngelos) and took down the photo (which he doctored and reposted). He writes:
From the beginning, I tried to keep the persona as absurd as possible to ensure that there was no confusion. And every major news organization that caught wind of the account was quick to identify it as parody. Unfortunately, I think this was less a situation of confusion and more an instance of someone personally disliking the satire. For the record, I’m a fan of Peter Angelos. I think he’s been unfairly maligned by folks who have no clue how the baseball business works. He’s been a stalwart supporter in the community and a guy who’s shown a genuine love for the game – even if he’s not always right.
I don’t begrudge Twitter. They have to cover their behinds, especially now that they’ve come under greater scrutiny. And if they ever expect to monetize and actually profit from their service one day (tee-hee), they have to make sure to stay on the up-and-up at all times.
So for the foreseeable future the owner who’s number one in our tweets (even if he’s number one on SI’s list of worst owners) will live on as @UnPeterAngelos.
@UnPeterAngelos said he doesn’t think Angelos himself was the complainer:
The guy is rich and influential, and he didn’t get that way by wasting his time trolling time-sucks like Twitter and chasing down smart-assed chumps like me. Besides, compared to some of the brutal, awful stuff I’ve seen printed about Peter Angelos, this Twitter account borders on flattery. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s someone in the organization who’s looking to impress the brass by proactively “protecting” Angelos’s reputation.
Readers, do you agree with @UnPeterAngelos’ guess about the complainer?