Last week, I posited the First Law of Twitter Dynamics: “Any authentic celebrity Twitter feed produces an equal and opposite parody Twitter feed.” This week, @Foxmanides, the parody feed of Anti-Defamation League honcho Abraham Foxman, brings proof of the Second Law: Any Twitter feed parodying a subject with demonstrably poor P.R. skills will be complained about and forced to change.
Soon after an anonymous Twitterer (whose identity I was able to confirm) launched @AbeFoxman on July 30, after the organization opposed the Ground Zero Islamic center, the ADL filed a complaint, at which point Twitter gave its proprietor 48 hours to change the name; having changed it to @foxmanides (“because he likes to pontificate on behalf of the Jewish people as though he’s some sort of sage”), Twitter still insisted that the proprietor change the background wallpaper, which was the ADL’s logo, and its Web address, which was the ADL Website. (The ADL did not respond to a request for comment.)
So, as of now, @foxmanides’s name is (Not) Abe Foxman, and its Web address is a link to the Wikipedia article on Foxman’s decision, in 2007, to urge the U.S. government not to recognize the Armenian genocide. Additionally, a whole new Twitter feed, @babefoxman, has sprung up, like Venus from the waves, to mock this whole mess (“Waaaah! I can’t handle being made fun of on Twitter so I called my lawyers! Waaaaah!”).
As for Real Abe Foxman? He just published a letter to Fareed Zakaria, the columnist, editor, and television host who rebuked the organization. “In returning the ADL’s prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedom Prize,” Foxman wrote Zakaria, “you seem to be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.” Dude: If you are referring to your own position as “bathwater,” maybe it’s time to change your mind.