The man behind @TOMayorFrod is seeking an explanation from Twitter after his popular parody account was abruptly and inexplicably suspended on Tuesday.
Richard Feren, the account’s creator, doesn’t yet know what sparked the decision, but says his last tweet might have garnered a bit too much attention.
“The tweet said something like: ‘My condolences to my friend Vladimir Putin, whose hockey team was bullied out of the Olympics by gay-loving Finland.’ ”
“It’s obviously a way to kind of comment on Rob Ford’s actions and weird rhetoric around the Pride flag here,” he said. “I don’t think that violated any rules of Twitter, but it was re-tweeted widely so it may have caught someone’s attention.”
Mayor Ford has said he doesn’t approve of the Pride flag that’s flying at city hall during the Olympic Games.
The satirical account had been running for about eight months and attracted over 7,000 followers.
“Usually an account like this would only be suspended if there was a direct complaint from the target of it,” Feren stressed.
Mayor Ford said he wasn’t aware of the account. His staffers told CityNews they had contacted Twitter about it, but didn’t ask that it be taken down.
Both the official, and the parody account, look almost identical and Twitter’s policy states, “The avatar should not be the exact trademark or logo of the account subject.”
“I designed it specifically to mimic the official account,” Feren said. “It’s always been intended to be a parody of the official Twitter account rather than a parody of Rob Ford himself.”
Feren says he’s open to tweaking the account to come into compliance with Twitter’s rules.
But he won’t stop satirizing the mayor.
“I consider it a sort of civic responsibility. I don’t believe that any subject should be off limits for satire…I stand behind every single tweet that I’ve ever posted on that account.
“I think it may be back sooner than we think.”