Twitter is known for its parody accounts. Some of them are so popular that their targets sometimes ask that the operator of the fake account make it clear it is a joke. Think @BPGlobalPR.
Twitter does police this: The rule is that parody accounts should not deceive or confuse users.
There probably will be no such request in this case: With the corporate websites of Visa and MasterCard under apparent cyber attack Wednesday from alleged WikiLeaks supporters, someone started @wikileakcables.
"Way to go hacktivists! You're keeping it classy with operation #payitforward. Niceness is contagious! #wikileaks," was the first update in the account. Reads another update: "Once we take down all the credit card companies, it will be back to the barter system! What's a rabbit pelt worth these days?" And another: "Diner's Club, you're next!!!"
In the meantime, Twitter apparently didn't think one account was too humorous: It has suspended @Anon_Operation, the account purportedly being used by the hackers to organize attacks. It soon returned as @Anon_Operationn, presenting Twitter with a classic whack-a-mole dilemma.
Twitter declined to comment on why it suspended the account. A person familiar with the situation said the final tweet from @Anon_Operation included a link to a file containing consumer credit card information.
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: Activists who support the free flow of information on Tuesday rallied near Westminster Magistrates Court in London where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was denied bail after appearing on an extradition warrant. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press