Knight Center
Knight Center


Twitter suspends The New York Times parody account

NYTOnit.screenshot-e1353439699210The offending @NYTOnIt logo Source:

Twitter suspended the “Times Is On It” parody account after The New York Times accused the tweeter of trademark infringement, reported the New York Observer on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

@NYTOnIt author Benjamin Karbak said his account was suspended on Monday, Nov. 19, and reinstated after he appealed the decision on Tuesday, according to Poynter. The account, which lampoons the Times’ perceived wide-eyed coverage of popular culture, has over 26,000 followers at this writing and was named one of TIME magazine’s “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012.”

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Poynter, “it is important to The Times that our copyright is protected and that it is clear to all users of Twitter that parody accounts or other unofficial Times accounts are not affiliated nor endorsed by The Times.” Specifically, the Times complained about Karbak’s use of the newspaper’s iconic “T” on his avatar.

Karbak told Tim Montemayor on The Monty Show that he felt the decision highlighted a disconnect between the editorial staff, some of whom he claimed liked the feed, and the Times’ legal department. Karbak dismissed the suggestion that the Times’ request was an editorial decision but went on to say, “I believed I had a legitimate defense of parody and fair use.”

Thanks to the extra attention the suspension brought, Karbak said his account gathered an additional 5,000 followers. He also opened a contest to re-design the feed’s logo:


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