Socialist Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York warned her followers about a parody account that was going viral and “gaining speed” after interacting with tech billionaire Elon Musk.
She tweeted about it on Tuesday.
“FYI there’s a fake account on here impersonating me and going viral. The Twitter CEO has engaged it, boosting visibility. It is releasing false policy statements and gaining spread,” she wrote.
“I am assessing with my team how to move forward. In the meantime, be careful of what you see,” she added.
The congresswoman’s complaints mirrored predictions from critics that parody accounts would cause chaos on Twitter after Musk changed the policies on verification marks for official Twitter accounts.
Among those who lashed out at Musk over the new policies was actress Alyssa Milano.
“So by revoking my blue check mark because I wouldn’t pay some arbitrary fee, someone can just be me and say a bunch of bulls***. Does that mean Twitter and @elonmusk are liable for defamation or identity theft or fraud?” Milano tweeted angrily at the time.
The focus of Ocasio-Cortez’s ire was apparently the “AOCpress” account that is clearly labeled “parody” in accordance with the Twitter terms of service. The parody account has 181k followers while the account for Ocasio-Cortez has more than 13.4 million followers, which diminishes the chance anyone could mistake the parody account for the real account.
The account made light of the congresswoman’s tweet.
“I can’t believe someone would do that to us,” the parody responded.
“After brainstorming with my staff – I’m going to push Congress to make it illegal to joke, laugh, or make fun of me,” the parody tweeted later.
After brainstorming with my staff – I’m going to push Congress to make it illegal to joke, laugh, or make fun of me.
Parody should be illegal.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody) (@AOCpress) May 30, 2023
“Parody should be illegal,” the parody account added.
Musk responded to a joke from the parody account on Monday with a “fire emoji” which is what angered Ocasio-Cortez.