UPDATE: The Twitter account @MayorJonesRVA has been suspended. Stay with 8News on air and online for further updates.
RICHMOND (WRIC) – Richmond officials want a Twitter account alleging itself to be Mayor Dwight Jones removed from the site.
On Monday, November 17, @MayorJonesRVA sent out its first tweet and was quickly followed by media outlets, organizations and members of the Richmond community.
Even though the account seemed to be the official Twitter handle for the Mayor, the account holder is not Jones according to the Mayor's office. They say it is impersonating the Mayor in a public arena.
“This impersonation of an elected, government official is not appropriate and poses a dishonest voice to the public,” says Secretary Tammy Hawley in a statement.
At first the impersonator seemed real and talked about current events and interacting with followers, but then things got weird.
Like this tweet that said “I prefer a secluded evening by the riverside with my harmonica…and my overpaid security detail.”
“I heard about it, and I saw some of the tweets,” Jones laughed.
The Office of the Mayor is currently completing all necessary paper work to have this account removed from Twitter.
But that could be tough because of this one word – “parody.”
Twitter does allow users to create parody, commentary or fan accounts with no consequences.
And even if someone is clearly breaking the rules on twitter, it could be tough to take action against them.
“I would say Twitter is not quick to respond,” says John B. Farmer of Leading-Edge Law Group, PLC. “They are sometimes hard to get in contact with, but they do have a process. They are not as quick as Facebook as possible.”
As for the real Mayor Jones, he may start a twitter account soon.
“I think that I will get one. And I think when I get one I will let people know that this is the real Mayor Jones.”
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond