Joe Fontana’s NOT Twitter Account

I was interviewed this morning by Deb Van Brenk at the London Free Press after a short online spat with the City of London’s Communications Dept on Twitter. Basically, here’s the gist of what happened:

  • Yesterday afternoon several people, including myself, noticed that @londonsmayor had been re-registered by someone after former Mayor Anne-Marie DeCicco-Best had changed her Twitter handle to @DeCiccoBest.
  • It looked like Joe Fontana, the new Mayor of London, was the person tweeting (or someone on his behalf, which is more likely), despite a misspelled name on the account’s profile (it was ‘Joe Fontama’ before being changed to simply ‘Joe F.’)
  • @londonsmayor even replied to someone about the name change/handover saying that it was a simple administrative issue (which is true).
  • I noticed a tweet from @londonsmayor last night, asking if anyone knew where he had to go tomorrow (for the swearing in ceremony) and it CC’d @LondonComms. I thought this was pretty funny, and knew immediately that the account was in fact a parody/spoof.
  • This morning it was very evident it was a parody since a tweet was sent out saying Joe had been hit by something while riding his bike to the swearing in ceremony, even though Joe was being sworn in just as this was tweeted.
  • I called out the fact that it was a parody/spoof account this morning, and several people agreed. No big deal, I still thought it was funny and harmless.
  • @LondonComms tweets that they have reported this “hack” to Twitter.
  • I take issue of the word “hack,” which this clearly was not.
  • @LondonComms tries to reply to me, instead turning the reply into a retweet making it looked like I supported the City reporting the account to Twitter. I took issue with this and dealt with it via direct message, though others called @LondonComms out for it publicly — I appreciate the backup folks! 🙂

This led to Deb finding Orpheum’s website and getting my number via the Contact Us page. I end up being quoted in an article about the issue.

Unfortunately, Mayor Fontana is saying he has no intention of continuing to use Twitter after shutting down @JoeForMayor. This is unfortunate, and also a contrast to when he said, during the campaign, that he had intended to continue using Twitter to keep in touch with the populace even after the election.

It’s dumb, really, that he won’t continue to use Twitter to engage the public and connect with potential, future voters. And it’s also extremely shortsighted.

Thankfully the person that had registered @londonsmayor after Anne-Marie relinquished control is back on the beat with @NOTLondonsMayor. I’m really looking forward reading the tweets from London’s own version of @notstevejobs.