In a move that might well have Fake Steve quaking in his boots, Apple has just struck down the Twitter account of one of the growing number of tech parodists poking fun at Cupertino and its products.
Over the weekend, the Twitter account of @ceoSteveJobs was shut down for improperly impersonating Apple’s chief executive.
According to Twitter policy, Twitter accounts can be suspended for impersonating another individual as long as the submitter of the request is either the person being impersonated, or someone legally authorized to act on their behalf.
Apple’s well within their legal rights here: both Apple and Twitter are California companies, and California ushered in a new law on January 1st that makes cyber impersonation a crime punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or a year in jail.
It’s worth nothing that the @ceoSteveJobs account did not seem to proclaim its own lack of veracity the same way Dan Lyons does with his “Fake Steve Jobs” persona. The law and Twitter’s own policy also seem firmly on Cupertino’s side.
That said, it looks like it’s the end of an era of Internet parody, in which Steve Jobs was sort of the Rick James of tech parody. I doubt we’ll see any fewer Steve Jobs parodies out there in the future, but expect those parodies to be couched in a more traditional form of parodists’ deflection: can anyone say Jeeves Stobs?.