Olympic Organisation Shut Down Twitter Protest Account

Visit @spacehijackers, and you’ll get this:

Account suspended

The profile you are trying to view has been suspended.

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The account belongs to the self-proclaimed official protesters of the Olympics, although the Twitter handle doesn’t convey that very well. Here is a screenshot of some of the tweets and what the account now looks like to the owner. More on the group here.

Today, @spacehijacker received this e-mail (complete content in the title link):


We have received reports from the trademark holder, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd, that your account, @spacehijackers, is using a trademark in a way that could be confusing or misleading with regard to a brand affiliation. Your account has been temporarily suspended due to violation of our trademark policy.

Now, I understand Twitter’s rules against impersonation, but I don’t see how obvious parodies and protests could be confused with the official account—you know, especially considering that the account name is @spacehijinks.

It probably has to do with the branding police that elevates the absurdity of the Olympics to a new level.

But why does Twitter have to comply with LOCOC’s nonsensical guidelines? I don’t get it; this seems like an opportune moment to stand up for your users.

Update: Twitter, LOCOG or both have relented and restored @spacehijacker’s account. Twitter sent a weird message to the account holder, stating “Please understand that your account is subject to permanent suspension if it is found to further violate our Rules regarding impersonation”.

At the end of the day, you couldn’t have asked for a better way to bring attention to the insanity of the Olympics and the wayward policing of Twitter, and the Olympics protestors have the traffic charts to show for it. Good for protestors of the Olympics, and advocates for free speech—bad for Twitter and LOCOG.