The McKeeva Bush imposter on Twitter is now described on the social networking site as a parody, two days after the real Premier Bush denied having a Twitter account.
The real Premier Bush lodged a complaint with Twitter, and by Friday morning, the words “McKeeva Bush Parody” were appearing beside the author’s name on new tweets. Previously, the webpage of McKeevaBush345 had simply been headed “McKeeva Bush”.
In a subheading under the name, the webpage also now reads: “(NotTheReal McKeeva Bush. DUHHH!!).”
The premier issued a statement Wednesday insisting he did not have a Twitter account and on Friday read a statement in the Legislative Assembly describing the comments by “McKeevaBush345” as unbecoming of the Office of Premier and “personally offensive”.
The Twitter account uses an official photograph of the Premier and had a “Bio” that, as of Wednesday, read: “I’m from West Bay aka Republic/Gazza (sic). That means ‘me alone run tings’, if you don’t know then you’d better ask somebody”. The “Bio” was later changed to indicate it was ‘not the real Premier’.
Several other statements attributed to Premier Bush were found on the web page Wednesday and apparently continued to be made on Thursday.
“GT got some nice lookin’ women nah true,” read one of the Wednesday comments. “The Premier jus lookin’…I’m happily married.”
“The Premier got a few meetings now, shoutout to all the towners that want to move to WB so they can vote for me,” read another. “I feel yah love.”
One comment made Thursday read: “Apparently, ordinary ppl are eating large amounts of Lucky Charms 2day. I don’t have to. The wife say’s I’m magically delicious every day.”
“The Premier does not and has never had a Twitter account,” read a statement issued late Wednesday by Mr. Bush’s press secretary Charles Glidden. “An impersonation complaint was filed [Wednesday] with Twitter which acknowledged the complaint and an investigation is under way.”
Impersonation accounts are against Twitter’s rules.
In his statement to the Legislative Assembly Friday, Mr. Bush said: “People should not be able to hide behind the anonymity of a computer screen and cause embarrassment or worse to others without there being a consequence.
“Before anyone rushes to any conclusions, I want to make it absolutely clear that there is no intention to block or limit access to the Internet from the Cayman Islands. Access to the Internet has become akin to freedom of speech, and like freedom of speech, accessing and interacting on the Internet must be done responsibly.”
Mr. Glidden’s statement indicated that government intends to consider legislation that addresses the “misuse of the Internet to the detriment and defamation of others”.
What Cayman Islands law says about Internet “impersonation” isn’t precisely clear. Mark Connors with the Information and Communications Technology Authority said the entity may have little power to regulate the issue in any case.
“The ICTA can’t impose rules on Twitter or any US or Canadian website,” Mr. Connors said Thursday.
Section 90 of the ICTA Law (2006 Revision) states: “Whoever knowingly uses an ICT network or service to defraud, abuse, annoy, threaten or harass any other person is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of $10,000 and to imprisonment for one year, or, on conviction on indictment, a fine of $20,000 and to imprisonment for two years.”
In such a case, the local court can restrain someone convicted of this offence from using ICT services.
However, Mr. Connors said he couldn’t comment on whether any section of the ICT law would apply, and it certainly would not apply if the person used a network outside the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands Penal Code (2007 Revision) also makes it an offence to “personate” any person employed in the public service “on occasion when the latter is required to do any act or attend in any place by virtue of his employment or who falsely represents himself to be a person employed in the public service and assumes to do an act or attend in any place for the purpose of doing any act by virtue of such employment”.
Again, it was unclear whether posting messages on the Twitter account has any application to that section of the Penal Code.
According to Twitter’s policy on impersonation, it is a violation to pretend to be another person with the intent to deceive. Doing so can result in permanent account suspension.
However, that policy also states: “Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary, or fan accounts. Accounts with a clear intent to confuse or mislead may be permanently suspended.”