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Politician’s name trends on Twitter after threatening journalist

#KirbyDelauter – a Frederick County Council member in the US – has trended on Twitter after he threatened a journalist Bethany Rogers with legal action for using his name without his permission.

by Nick Tjaardstra nick.tjaardstra@wan-ifra.org | January 7, 2015

Kirby Delauter objected to an article by Bethany Rogers published in the Frederick News Post on January 3rd. The original story related to a conflict between council members over parking space assignments.

The source of the threat was found on a Facebook post written by the council member (captured by the Washington Post):

The Frederick News Post responded with an editorial titled “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter.”

“Discernibly, though,” the editorial reads, “Kirby Delauter’s ignorance of what journalism is and does is no joke, and illustrates one disturbing aspect too prevalent in conservatives’ beliefs: That the media are all-liberal stooges Hell bent on pursuing some fictional leftwing agenda.”

The beginning of each paragraph in the tongue-in-cheek editorial spells out the name “Kirby Delauter.”

Twitter immediately responded with a raft of pop-culture references, where the hashtag #KirbyDelauter trended:

 

skippy the ⬛⬛⬛ kangaroo@skippybkroo

the first rule of is that nobody talks about

38 people are talking about this

 

 

Andrew Bouska@andrewbouska

“Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle then quickly hire an attorney to defend my First Amendment rights.”

View image on Twitter
212 people are talking about this

 

 

MΣGAN HØDGΣS@MegRhi

The hills are alive with the sound of ‘s name.

View image on Twitter
39 people are talking about this

 

ThatDarnCat@NotDexVonFrisch

BREAKING: announces he has changed his name to following, unpronounceable symbol.

View image on Twitter
102 people are talking about this

 

Emily Richmond

@EWAEmily

Anyone else hoping the only thing @GameOfThrones Hodor can say in Season 5 is ?

See Emily Richmond’s other Tweets

 

Sarah McLaughlin

@sarahemclaugh

When in doubt, ask yourself: what would do?

Tricked you! Now you’ve said ‘s name and he will sue you.

49 people are talking about this

 

48 people are talking about this

 

Bryan P. Sears@bpsears

Hello, my name is . you used my name unauthorized. Prepare to be sued.

View image on Twitter
31 people are talking about this

 

 

Norm D Guerre@NormDGuerreIndy

“How many roads must a walk down, before you can call him ?”

See Norm D Guerre’s other Tweets

 

The scenario is seen by some to be an illustration of the “Streisand Effect,” where an attempt to censor information backfires and attracts more attention to the would-be censor. It was named after the singer Babara Streisand after she sued a photographer in 2003 over photographs of a coastline which identified her home. The lawsuit attracted more attention to her home.

Bethany Rogers, the journalist at the centre of the Kirby Delauter threat had the final say on Twitter:

 

Bethany Rodgers@BethRodgersSLT

Appreciate all the love today, Twitterverse. Thanks to you, I type the name of without any fear tonight 😉

219 people are talking about this