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Newt Gingrich Threatens Employee Free Choice EFCA BLOGGER on Twitter abuse
by Employee Free Choice EFCAPrwire News Friday, May. 15, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Newt Gingrich and Saul Anuzis allege @EFCANOW has committed Twitter fraud, and are complaining to Twitter about the users on the site and demanding a response--or else.

TWEETS YOU NEED TO READ

May 14, 2009

Gingrich threatens EFCA group on Twitter abuse

THE HILL @ 10:53 am by Michael O'Brien



Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis have threatened to sue a pro-Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) group over a posting on Twitter using their names. (A Twitter Blogger NOT Group)

Attorneys for Gingrich and Anuzis wrote a pro-EFCA group on Wednesday, asking them to disable a posting by the anonymously-owned “EFCANOW” handle, which asked followers to sign a petition supporting the labor legislation, and included Gingrich’s and Anuzis’s Twitter handles.

The suit marks a first for the political use of Twitter, which has taken off amongst lawmakers, political figures and interest groups since earlier in the year. The complaint gets to the heart of one of the most common practices of the site: directing a message toward another user — even if the two don’t know each other — by using an “@” sign.



“The posting falsely purports to have been written by Messrs. Gingrich and Anuzis and includes the Mark as well as the Twitter ‘handles’ of the foregoing individuals,” attorneys wrote in a letter. “The posting is deliberately designed to fraudulently induce readers into believing that…Messrs. Gingrich and Anuzis all support EFCA.”



The attorneys alleged that the posting, of which the authorship is unknown, violates the pair’s trademark and publicity rights, and invokes tresspassing and wire fraud laws, and maybe even so-called “RICO” laws, which are traditionally used to target organized crime groups.

The attorneys threatened a lawsuit by next Thursday, May 21 to seek to block the posting and claim monetary damages if EFCANOW has not replied by then.

“How dare someone imply that Newt Gingrich has been spending his time fighting for justice in the workplace, rather than his true passion: starting frivolous lawsuits,” Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) spokeswoman Christy Setzer shot back Thursday afternoon. “We stand with Twitterers everywhere when we say, thank you Newt, for sparing us a Kanye West-like all-caps rant on binding arbitration.”

THE HUFFINGTON POST:Newt Gingrich Threatens To Sue Twitterer

Twitter. Everybody talks about it, but no one seems to want to do anything about it. Until today, anyways! In case you haven't heard, Newt Gingrich, along with RNC Chair also-ran Saul Anuzis, is thinking about suing someone on Twitter. This would, indeed, be a BOLD NEW IDEA for the GOP to pursue. And that's This Day In Pointlessness!

All right, so you probably deserve a fuller explanation. Here's the issue. There is a Twitter account in the name of EFCANow that has, as you might imagine, been blasting out tweets in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Recently that twitterer has started adding the handles of Gingrich and Anuzis to his posts, in an attempt to argue directly with their twitter followers, and perhaps win converts. Here is a representative example:



As The Hill reports:EFCA war spills onto Twitter

Twitter allows users to tag messages with the @ symbol followed by another account name, associating the message with the other account and subsequently reaching subscribers to the other account's news feed.

In linking to feeds controlled by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who boasts more than 238,000 followers, and former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who has 8,000 followers of his own, the pro-EFCA group's message reached those who follow two anti-EFCA activists.



Some of Anuzis's followers have been duped into signing the petition, Anuzis told The Hill on Monday.

The misleading campaign first showed up on Saturday, when EFCANow posted to its Twitter account: "Join @newtgingrich @sanuzis in signing the EFCA Freedom Not Fear petition," followed by a website.

Since Saturday, nearly a dozen entries into the group's Twitter feed mention Gingrich, the general chairman of American Solutions, and Anuzis, who heads American Solutions' anti-EFCA campaign.

Basically, in Gingrich's opinion, the inclusion of his Twitter handle in these posts essentially misrepresent his position on EFCA. So he's considering legal action! Naturally, this makes me wonder: since opponents of EFCA consistently misrepresent the law by suggesting that it would ban union elections by secret ballot outright, should they be filing lawsuits of their own?

Story continues below

Kate Thomas, blogging for the Service Employees International Union, jokes that Gingrich, in threatening legal action, is setting a new standard for unreasonableness:

But even Kanye West doesn't threaten legal action about being impersonated on Twitter, instead choosing to express his rage to the world with an all-caps rant on his blog (the all-caps lets readers know that Kanye means business). Exactly why is Kanye SO ANGRY about this twitterjacking? Because he feels the constant Tweets appearing to come from him via @kanyewest lower his 'coolness quotient' and make it seem like he has nothing better to do all day than...Tweet:

I'M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I'M NOT AND I'M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN'T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF.

For some reason, however, Newt and Saul can't seem to shake this one off--they're even more pissed than Kanye. Who would've thought two politicians could become so enraged over the use of an "@" sign...This may end up redefining what we classify as a "frivolous lawsuit."

SEIU spokesperson Christy Setzer adds, "We stand with Twitterers everywhere when we say, thank you Newt, for sparing us a Kanye West-like all-caps rant on first contract arbitration."

For my part, I thought this would be a perfect time to test Gingrich's resolve in pursuing this sort of litigation:



SEIU BLOG:

1:23 PM Eastern - May 14, 2009

Newt takes page out of Kanye playbook; enraged over Twitterjacking By Kate Thomas

So it turns out that there's someone on Twitter who's been enthusiastically twittering nonstop about Employee Free Choice, advocating for the legislation and spreading the good word. Lately the person has taken to trying to convert followers of Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis to sign a pro-Employee Free Choice petition.

From @EFCANOW's Twitter feed:



Brush it off as an overzealous Twitterer and move on, right? Nope. Not if you're Newt and Saul. Newt and Saul are threatening to sue because of this person's pro-Employee Free Choice tweets.

From The Hill:

Attorneys for Gingrich and Anuzis wrote Twitter on Wednesday, asking it to disable a posting by the anonymously owned "EFCANOW" handle, which asked followers to sign a petition supporting the labor legislation. The posting included Gingrich's and Anuzis's Twitter handles, which function as their screen names.

[...] The attorneys allege that the posting, of which the authorship is unknown, violates the pair's trademark and publicity rights and contravenes trespassing and wire fraud laws, and maybe even so-called RICO laws, which are traditionally used to target organized crime groups.

Newt and Saul allege @EFCANOW has committed Twitter fraud, and are complaining to Twitter about the users on the site and demanding a response--or else.

But even Kanye West doesn't threaten legal action about being impersonated on Twitter, instead choosing to express his rage to the world with an all-caps rant on his blog (the all-caps lets readers know that Kanye means business). Exactly why is Kanye SO ANGRY about this twitterjacking? Because he feels the constant Tweets appearing to come from him via @kanyewest lower his 'coolness quotient' and make it seem like he has nothing better to do all day than...Tweet:

I'M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I'M NOT AND I'M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN'T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF.

For some reason, however, Newt and Saul can't seem to shake this one off--they're even more pissed than Kanye. Who would've thought two politicians could become so enraged over the use of an "@" sign...This may end up redefining what we classify as a "frivolous lawsuit."

"How dare someone imply that Newt Gingrich has been spending his time fighting for justice in the workplace, rather than his true passion: starting frivolous lawsuits," Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) spokeswoman Christy Setzer shot back Thursday afternoon. "We stand with Twitterers everywhere when we say, thank you Newt, for sparing us a Kanye West-like all-caps rant on first contract arbitration."

Categories: blog, employee free choice, front featured, political

Tags: efca, EFCANOW, employee free choice, employee free choice act, gingrich, kanye west, legal action, newt gingrich, newt twitter, saul anuzis, tweet, tweeting, twitter, twitter impersonation, twitterjacking

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