WTH: Twitter Suspends @Salondotcom
Parody accounts are a dime a dozen these days — there’s Matthew Yglesias’ Balls, Ann Coulter’s Vagina. The fun never stops.
Until it does.
Which, in the past 24 hours, is what happened to Rob Mariani and Jordan Bloom, proprietors of the now suspended @salondotcom Twitter parody account that mocks all things Salon, the liberal news site. Mariani and Bloom are roommates. When the pair aren’t thinking up ways to humorously knife Salon, Mariani is a butcher at Red Apron and Bloom is the opinion editor for The Daily Caller.
The pair feels there is some legitimacy to the account that began in late June, since journalists like CNN’s Jake Tapper, Politico’s Ben White and National Journal‘s Ron Fournier follow it as well as some 8,000 others that include Reason writers, Washington Examiner‘s Betsy Woodruff and National Review Online‘s Tim Cavanaugh. They’re thrilled that readers online today are trying to save their feed. Hence the existence of this: #FreeSalonDotCom.
The male duo looks forward to having their account reinstated after the 48-hour waiting period. In the meantime, we convened for a three-way GChat today so I could grill them on their feelings.
The Mirror: Rob, how did you come up with the idea to do the parody account. What was going through your mind?
Rob Mariani: Well I knew the idea of a parody account existed, and I found it to be a really funny use of twitter. Before that even went through my mind, I always had a chuckle at the headlines from Salon and thought they just so bombastic.
The Mirror: So you started and then Jordan soon joined you or how did it all come about?
Rob Mariani: Yeah I started it for like a day or two with only a handful of followers. Jordan asked to come in, and I thought that was a great idea.
The Mirror: So when was this?
Rob Mariani: Something like a month ago? Let me check About three weeks ago 6/23 is when I first tweeted.
The Mirror: How many followers did you have before suspension?
Jordan Bloom: It was in the 8000 range.
The Mirror: So why do you guys think you were suspended?
Jordan Bloom: We violated their terms of service for not disclosing that it was a parody. That’s technically the reason.
Rob Mariani: Right, we have to put it on the description, which we didn’t. And we parody those that are triggered easily.
The Mirror: Oh I see. So if you add parody in the description then you can go back on?
Jordan Bloom: That’s probably the compromise we’ll have to make.
Rob Mariani: I’ve already taken the liberty and added a parody disclaimer to the description, they said there was 48 hours till anything can happen, though.
The Mirror: Twitter wrote this to you?
Rob Mariani: Nope, it just said that we were suspended. The reason that someone would use for such a thing was pretty obvious to us though. Then I sent out an appeal after correcting the stuff, and they replied quite promptly with another email it said, “If you had intended to create a parody, commentary or fan account, your account must comply with our policy for such accounts” and make sure our account is in compliance.
The Mirror: So it won’t ruin it to add that it’s a parody account, correct?
Rob Mariani: Not at all, our description and background were already silly
Jordan Bloom: It sucks to capitulate, I’ll admit it. But I think most of the people we fooled saw the tweets being retweeted into their feeds, not necessarily looking at the ‘about’ or whatever’
The Mirror: Tell me about your feelings about the real Salon.com.
Rob Mariani: Slightly left of Pravda
Jordan Bloom: America will never be truly free until it is a smoking crater.
Rob Mariani: And a bit too smug for its own good
The Mirror: Did you guys eat pot brownies for lunch? I suddenly feel like I’m in Denver.
Jordan Bloom: Not really an edibles guy tbh.
Rob Mariani: And I think it will speak about their character a lot if they were or were not the ones that reported us. Though they themselves reporting us would obviously carry more weight with twitter.
The Mirror: So you guys think someone reported you then?
Rob Mariani: I am guessing that twitter doesn’t act unless there’s a complaint. Just too much for them to sift through ya know? not something that an algorithm can easily handle
Jordan Bloom: Well, somebody reported us. For my money it was just a usual roving gang of social justice warriors. But who knows? Some of those Salon folks have remarkably thin skins.
The Mirror: Yeah, for sure. Let’s get specific. Who do you think has the thinnest skins over there?
Rob Mariani: Not Elias Isquith, he seemed pretty cool since he actually followed us.
Rob Mariani: I think one of their staff made a tweet about “Ugh the Salon parody got really unfunny really fast ok guys??”
Jordan Bloom: Yeah Isquith charged us with devolving into a one-note joke about how racial issues don’t matter, which was wildly untrue because less than one fifth of the tweets were about race, and he retracted the accusation.
The Mirror: Wow, for real? That’s amazing.
Rob Mariani: Haha not really. Salon is like that one kid in high school that aped the mannerisms of a smart person and constantly pontificated about stuff he knew nothing about, and everyone tried to be nice about it. But in fact he wasn’t smart at all and would get upset if you pointed this out. Just backpeddling to [answer] your question about our view of salon
Rob Mariani: ‘There seemed to be a real gap in this type of thing existing, at least when it comes to poking fun at the sensationalist left. So that’s basically the market working, you will garner attention when you correct the gaps’
Jordan Bloom: Also I think some of those tweets definitely pushed the boundaries of propriety a bit. Yet a whole lot of media people with mainstream cred followed it and thought it was funny, like Ben White and Ron Fournier. Jake Tapper even followed it.
Rob Mariani: Joe Rogan was one of the early ones.
Jordan Bloom: Knowing that they were being mainlined samizdat that isn’t Down With The Program made it all worth doing,
The Mirror: Okay, so Jordan, can you please tell me what Rob does when he’s not in the Butcher Shop and parodying Salon?
Jordan Bloom: I think I may have to invoke my parodist’s privilege on this one.
Rob Mariani: Smart move.
The Mirror: No…there is no invoking anything!
The Mirror: So, I understand you two are roommates.
Jordan Bloom: Technically housemates but that’s an awkward word.
Rob Mariani: Yeah, we live in the same townhouse
The Mirror: Housemates is awkward?
Jordan Bloom: It’s a hideous sounding word.
The Mirror: Okay how about best buddies?
Rob Mariani: Yeah we’ve been bros for a while.
The Mirror: haha
Jordan Bloom: We were freshman hallmates at Mary Washington.
The Mirror: Do you guys think about the Salon stuff a lot? As in what you could parody? How much is it on your brain? Tell me the truth.
Rob Mariani: Sure, quite a bit, like everything these days it’s on my phone so I think of stuff and then just write it and will occasionally brainstorm on my own.
Jordan Bloom: And I spend some time every day writing headlines, so you see something happen and think ‘what would Salon say about this’?
The Mirror: Rob, I am getting pissed that you won’t tell me what you do. Do you have some references?
Rob Mariani: And what do you mean? I work at a butcher shop
The Mirror: I thought the butcher thing was a joke.
Rob Mariani: Well I never.
The Mirror: You parody people — you never know what’s real and what’s fake.
Rob Mariani: I’m looking for a new job though, butchering sounds cooler on paper
The Mirror: Okay so next steps….you wait the 48 hours and then you think you’ll get reinstated?
From the information that I have, that looks the way it’s going to work. But who knows how their policy really works?
The Mirror: I’m saying Butcher so this is your last chance to turn that around.
Rob Mariani: Yes ahaha I’m not lying. I said “haha not really about” it being cool.
Jordan Bloom: He really is a butcher, he has a red apron and everything.
Rob Mariani: That would be the worst prank ever convincing a reporter that I’m a butcher but I’m not.
The Mirror: Where exactly are you a butcher?
Rob Mariani: Red Apron. It’s like a restaurant butcher hybrid.
The Mirror: Oh, okay. Hmmm…alright, I’ll live with that.