New York Times gets Twitter parody account suspended

The Gray Lady claims it had the feed, which mercilessly mocked its Style section, taken down over copyright issues

By Prachi Gupta
November 21, 2012 2:27AM (UTC)
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(Screengrab of @NYTOnIt via The New York Times)

The New York Times, not an entirely humorless publication itself, yesterday had a popular New York Times parody Twitter account, @NYTOnIt, suspended. The account mocks some of the lifestyle Times pieces that note obvious or well-known observations as news (an example from this summer: "GUYS, drunk people go to diners really late at night, and The Times is ON IT").

The Times claims that the issue wasn't the humor, however. It was the use of trademark Gothic style "T," which the parody account adopted and edited to include a beret. Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, told Poynter, “We’re not seeking to disable the account however 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.”


@NYTOnIt's owner, Benjamin Kabak, however, wasn't convinced:

Twitter has suspended my account over a claim from The Times that my avatar violates a trademark. I say fair use. Right now, I'm waiting for Twitter to process my request to fix the problem so I can get the account reenabled. But feel free to spread the word over how the country's largest newspaper feels threatened by a small Twitter account right now.

Twitter eventually restored the account, and though logo-less, it's back in full swing:

[embed_tweet id="271001192405024768"]

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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