The McKeeva Bush imposter on Twitter is now described on the site as a “parody”, after the real Premier Bush complained to the social networking website that the poster was impersonating him.
Mr. Bush’s press secretary issued a statement on Wednesday insisting the premier did not have a Twitter account and on Friday Mr. Bush read a statement in the Legislative Assembly describing the comments by “McKeevaBush345” as unbecoming of the Office of Premier and “personally offensive”.
Mr. Bush lodged a complaint with Twitter Wednesday, and by Friday morning, the words “McKeeva Bush Parody” were appearing beside the author’s name on new tweets.
In a subheading under the name, the webpage for McKeevaBush345 now reads: “(NotTheReal McKeeva Bush. DUHHH!!).”
In his statement to the House Friday, Mr. Bush said: “Since yesterday, there has been a change in the bio section of the account. The bio now includes a disclaimer “not the real McKeeva Bush”. That’s a start. But the Twitter rules say all the guidelines should be followed.”
According to the rules of Twitter’s website, users are not allowed to impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, but Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary, or fan accounts.
Mr. Bush said the government would look into the possibility bringing legislation to address the misuse of the Internet to the detriment of others.
“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,” he said.
He added: “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. Bush said the comments posted on Twitter by his online namesake referred to him and West Bay in a negative light. The Twitter webpage of McKeevaBush345 reads: “Premier of the Cayman Islands and I’m from West Bay aka Republic/Gaza”.
The premier said that while he was no stranger to parody – having been the subject of skits in Rundown – the comments by the Twitter impersonator were not examples of parody.
“To actually post an official photograph and use a person’s correct name and title as if it is real is not right. It is, in fact, deception,” he said.
He said that while local people in Cayman would recognise that the Twitter comments, known as “tweets”, were not from him, he feared that others, especially people overseas with Internet connections, would not realise that this was someone impersonating him.
He added: “This impersonation is a prime example of how the Internet can be misused by those who might want to bring embarrassment or otherwise cause harm to other people.”