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Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the how-is-this-playing-in-peoria? dept.

Censorship 169

New submitter rotorbudd (1242864) writes with an article at Reason about Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, who ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him."Guess the good Mayor has never heard of the Streisand Effect. 'The original Twitter account had a total of 50 followers. The new account has over 200.'"

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Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Informative)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | about 7 months ago | (#46791859)

In Canada you can parody anyone. For example Justin Turdeau instead of Justin Trudeau (leader Liberal party Canada). It's funny and you can't get sued never mind have the police come after you. It's called freedom of speech.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Insightful)

vajrabum (688509) | about 7 months ago | (#46791899)

We have it here too, but it's enforced by the courts not by the police.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Informative)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 7 months ago | (#46792129)

apparently you can't parody in US... the the original account in question, @peoriamayor has been suspended. but a thousand flowers are blooming, including this guy [twitter.com] , who's profile reads "Welcome to Peoria, bitches! My house, my rules. Check those civil liberties at the door and bow down to your leader. Humor and Parodies punishable by death."

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 7 months ago | (#46792955)

Welcome to the United Corporations of America, where our communications are censored, our community governments are contracts and our government leased with the option to buy.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#46793045)

ahh... in a clear case of a government attacking its citizens, some douchebag shows up to bitch about corporations.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793359)

Well, what do you expect when that's who runs the government?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792157)

So, if you have the money to defend yourself in court you have free speech. Sounds about right.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46792555)

No we dont, free speech is only allowed in free speech zones. Doing it outside a designated zone means you get tazed in the junk by police.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (3, Insightful)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 7 months ago | (#46792689)

That's the sad reality of things; the government will revoke your freedoms whenever they wish, and make up some bullshit rationalization ("You still technically have free speech, but only when you're in free speech zones!") to try and fool idiots into accepting it. Try getting onto most planes in the US and you'll have your rights violated by our good friends at the TSA, and the justification for that is something very similar.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#46792985)

The left made a serious mistake creating gun control laws that nibble at the edges of the 2nd Amendment rather than do the heavy lifting going head-on to revoke or change it. It opened the door for the Right to attack other portions of the Constitution from the side as well.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793401)

Neither party gives a damn about the constitution or individual rights.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0, Flamebait)

JDAustin (468180) | about 7 months ago | (#46793589)

What part of the constitution is the right attacking?

Its the left who attacks the 1st amendment via free speech zones and wanting to limit who is considered a reporter. Its the left who has limited the 4th amendment with there militarization of local police forces. Its the left who has attacked the 10th amendment via increasing the power of the fed over the states.

Yea, the right has some serious issues, but more and more people on the right are seeing the results and moving back towards the constitution.

Oh, and Jim Ardis was re-elected with 91% of the vote in Peoria ILLINOIS. Hint....he's a DEMOCRAT.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

JDAustin (468180) | about 7 months ago | (#46793599)

I stand corrected....this crook is a Republican. He needs to be kicked out of the party and ostracized.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792811)

Glad I am an expat. Perhaps I should set up another Twitter account mocking this joke of a man. I'd love to see him abuse his authority and try to sic his crony thugs on me. The police here would beat the shit out of all of them. They are far more fair than American cops, but also far more hardcore when shit hits the fan.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 7 months ago | (#46792703)

The police should refuse to obey the orders from a mayor to follow an illegal order, but most won't do it because they either don't know the order is illegal or because they know they will likely get fired if they refuse depending upon how much power the mayor has in the town.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46793789)

well..

the mayor shouldn't been giving orders to the police in the first place.

anyways, that's how it's supposed to be in democratic countries. the mayor can make a report of a crime and the police could just then say that "hey man, that's not a crime."

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793361)

We have it here too, but it's enforced by the courts not by the police.

That quote, I'm guessing was piss poor attempt at humor?

who ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him.

And here I thought we lived in a free country! Oh wait that never did really happen... This why people who vote should be banned from voting. You have politicians like the Republicans [I could find this idiots political affiliation] who are bitching and moaning the same rhetorical nonsense about over taxing, and too much spending, and yet they waste tax payers money, to do things like this, or waste tax payers money to have court battles over ACA. --Affordable Health Care Act---

I want to know how much money was spent on this incident, and money spent over fighting against the ACA!

That doesn't mean I agree about how the ACA is being implemented.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46791913)

Yeah, but then you have to be in Canada, and it's dark and cold up there ALL THE TIME! No wonder they're all crack heads.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46791931)

The American political class is absolutely untouchable, and the police are their Pinkertons. Diddle some kids? Whatever. Parole. I'd really love it if someone were to take the law into their own hands and start shooting these motherfuckers.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

machineghost (622031) | about 7 months ago | (#46792127)

Ummm ... that's disturbing.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 7 months ago | (#46792317)

Ummm ... that's disturbing.

How is that disturbing?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 7 months ago | (#46792335)

How is that not disturbing?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793371)

What events transpired to make those thoughts crop up in the first place would be more disturbing (not that advocating executions or proposing insurrection isn't condemnable).

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793315)

Ummm ... that's disturbing.

How is that disturbing?

Its disturbing that people are wishing death upon others. That it needs to be explained to you is also disturbing.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792319)

The US does have a rogue government at this point, and they and the police have ruled themselves above the law. If this continues, a bloody revolution is inevitable, except with all the nutjobs hoarding guns, screaming about "that nigger muslim needs to show his birth certificate!" things could end up even worse. The likelyhood of the US being broken down into a bunch of smaller territories run by local warlords is pretty high. The US we used to love might never exist again.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#46792419)

The likelyhood of the US being broken down into a bunch of smaller territories run by local warlords is pretty high. The US we used to love might never exist again.

I see they have internet in the Idaho backwoods now.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Informative)

edibobb (113989) | about 7 months ago | (#46792749)

I hate to break it to you, but there was much more police and political abuse in the U.S. 40 years ago. There was just no efficient internet or cell phone communications that we have today. Most misdeeds in the 1960's and 1970's were largely unknown beyond a few dozen people. Things have improved immensely. Most police and even a few politicians are honest today.

which ones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793653)

> even a few politicians are honest today.

Which!?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

bielcosmo (3621557) | about 7 months ago | (#46792893)

Nope. Reasonable benefactors of humanity like Bloomberg have donated large sums to disarm the rabid lunatics, so it might take a bit, but we will actually have children live in schools with guns off the street.

Warlords will not happen. Revolution is impossible (look at Syria) with the technology governments can bring to bear. One canister of Sarin gas on a town square of revolutionaries, and all the "three percenters" with all the nutty gun talk will be surrendering by the thousands like Iraqis in Desert Storm.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793411)

We lost Iraq in the end, despite our massive technology advantage, you dumb fuck.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 7 months ago | (#46793555)

John Titor, is that you?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46791941)

Well the summary doesn't specify for what reasons they were allowed warrants but it's for slander.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792125)

You can't tweet slander. It would be libel. If that.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2)

cerberusti (239266) | about 7 months ago | (#46792343)

It should also be civil, not criminal. Libel is hardly worth of raiding someone and confiscating all of their stuff.

The charge is impersonating an officer anyway, which is so far out there in this case as to be clear abuse of power.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 7 months ago | (#46792723)

Slander and libel are civil matters that don't involve the police.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46791969)

Down here, we also have rules that say the police aren't allowed to arrest you for parody.

Newsflash: it turns out that rules written on pieces of paper don't actually stop the police from arresting you for parody.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46791989)

In Canada you can parody anyone. For example Justin Turdeau instead of Justin Trudeau (leader Liberal party Canada). It's funny and you can't get sued never mind have the police come after you. It's called freedom of speech.

Legally, yes; but none of that kicks in until after some sort of legal proceeding actually occurs. If the cops just break down your door, shoot your dog, and seize everything that looks evidentiary and/or worth 'losing', and then no charges are filed? Well, if you have the resources to lawyer up, you could probably make a civil case out of it; but otherwise you just got protected and served.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 months ago | (#46792475)

Guess the good Mayor has never heard of the Streisand Effect.

Uh, yeah. And how is that relevant here? Doesn't seem like he's actually taking much heat, except here at Slashdot and a single Left leaning web site. Maybe a little heat in his home town paper. But seriously, "Streisand Effect"?

People like to pontificate "Streisand Effect", but in most of the cases where it is used, it has not actually occurred.

"Streisand Effect" is a *WAY WAY* over used Intertube meme.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792579)

It's not a very big effect in this case, but it does appear to be an example of the effect (to recap, the effect is when an attempt to suppress a piece of information has the reverse effect). His original site had 50 followers, it now has 200 and likely growing - that's an audience growth of 400%. Now some of that growth might have been happening anyway, but the story has got wider coverage than it otherwise would have done. I pretty much guarantee I would never have heard of the mayor of Peoria or anything about him if the parody site had just carried on and he'd laughed it off. Now I know he's an asshat. That probably doesn't matter because I'm in the UK, but I guess he's getting somewhat more well-known (for the wrong reasons) in the US too. Sadly it still probably doesn't matter: the way he's behaving appears to be just how you expect your elected officials to behave. I doubt you expect his rivals would be any better, so it doesn't become a voting choice razor. It would probably be the same here. Sigh.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 7 months ago | (#46792731)

Actually this is a classic case of the Streisand Effect and it seems like you simply don't know what it is. Many many more people now know about the account and have read it. Followers went up 400% as a result of his actions. I now know of a guy in Illinois who is clearly an idiotic douchebag. One whom I certainly never would have heard about if he hadn't made it an issue.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (2)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46792863)

Add to that, the internet doesn't forget. This mayor has just arrested any potential upward mobility he may have had on the political ladder.

Also, as of this moment, @NotPeoriaMayor is up to 688 followers.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 months ago | (#46793491)

A lot of people know about this now that he tried to supress it.

Now let's google streisand effect and see what it says...

"The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet."

Peoria seems like a definitive example to me.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792169)

Can you parody Muslims, too?

Canada does not have free speech (1)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 7 months ago | (#46792263)

Don't get me wrong, the US is not perfect, but it is one of the few western democracies that does not have hate speech laws or a state secret's act.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Canada does not have free speech (2)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46792687)

Are you certain about the "state secrets act"? It seems to me that National Security Letters cover the same ground...and then some.

Re:Canada does not have free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793407)

No, the USA does not have Hate Speech laws, it has Terrorist Speech laws, and everyone seems to produce it these days.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (3, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | about 7 months ago | (#46792265)

Yes, parody is protected in the US, and parody against public figures has a long history of protection. However, once you piss off a politician, you can expect to be raked over the coals no matter what your rights. It's going to be expensive unless you can get the EFF or someone similar on board.

Now wait, did I just hear that some guy named Ardis likes to slob knobs in a McDonald's restroom?

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

crossmr (957846) | about 7 months ago | (#46793297)

That's not parody. Parody is not simply trying to be funny. This is why Weird Al actually goes out and gets permission to do the songs he does, because despite the popular thought, most of what he does isn't parody. Parody requires that the new work is used in such a way to comment on the original. Replacing a few words or singing something in a funny voice isn't parody in itself. Depending on how the account is being run it may not be parody either. As time goes on, it's easy for people to misunderstand things, like those "in soviet russia" jokes.. it wasn't simply a matter of swapping two things, the jokes were used in a way, with specific things to comment on the government. Nowadays people just swap something in there with no thought and it doesn't make sense.

Likewise people simply think "If I draw something funny, or make a stupid version of the name, it's fine I can do whatever I want". That's not true.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793419)

Weird Al doesn't have to get permission. He does it voluntarily to not piss people off.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 7 months ago | (#46793489)

Weird Al gets permission because being right and getting sued sucks. Getting permission prevents such issues. It's expensive to win in court, even if you are clearly right.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

crossmr (957846) | about 7 months ago | (#46793769)

That's what he says, but the reality is that most of his songs wouldn't be defensible in court. Most of them simply do a funny spin on the name and change the lyrics but the often don't change the lyrics to comment on the song itself or the creator.

I remember one R Kelly song he did clearly commented on the song and R Kelly himself. that one would have been fine, but some of the other ones, like "white and nerdy" awesome song, but doesn't really do much to comment on the original or the performers who made it.

Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 7 months ago | (#46793797)

I'll not read the linked article but there is a difference between parody and impersonation. Trying to impersonate a person and therefore skewing the public image of them isn't something that should be allowed but do a parody of them should always be allowed.
Don't know how it is for this specific case but I have seen here and elsewhere that some people think one can do whatever they want under the protection of "it's just a parody". I'll wonder if they would say the same when a fake facebook account pops up with their name spreading hints of drug abuse and pedophilia? It would just be a parody, right?

How appropriate... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46791927)

Hasn't Peoria been a cultural touchstone for humorless reactionary behavior since whenever "Will it play in Peoria?" was coined?

Also, can they not afford enough legal advice to tell them that basically every step of this plan is practically a textbook case of 'How to incur legal exposure in absurdly obvious ways'?

Democrat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792087)

Totalitarians at heart.

Re:Democrat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792361)

You misspelled "Republican", which is Ardis's political affiliation.

Re:Democrat (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46793169)

And you appear to have just lied. Ardis is an independent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Might you be a Democrat?

Re:Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793343)

Wikipedia is not always correct.

Ardis, Jim - Republican [ourcampaigns.com] (last modified 2011)

"Funny because Ardis is a Republican Mayor, you would think that he would be concerned about everyone paying so that his city could remain fiscally responsible." [wordpress.com] (dated 2010)

It wouldnt surprise me if Wikipedia was edited after this story broke to hide his political affiliation in order to support the narrative that only democrats are totalitarians. At any rate, its clearly wrong, and both of the above links predate this event from many years, preventing this event to influence what they say in an attempt to push an agenda or narrative. It may also be that he suddenly changed his affiliation from Republican to Independent in the last race for some reason, but even if thats the case, he was officially designated as a Republican for much longer than he's been Independent.

Re:Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793529)

It wouldnt surprise me if Wikipedia was edited after this story broke to hide his political affiliation in order to support the narrative that only democrats are totalitarians.

The history page shows that that is not the case and I think we can consider that reliable. However, if it were Conservapedia, I wouldn't trust the history page for a split second since their track record shows that transparency and accountability is a liberal concept.

Re:How appropriate... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#46792179)

I mix up "Peoria" and "Pretoria" all the time. Is there much of a difference?

Re:How appropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792559)

Don't forget Petoria!

Re:How appropriate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792305)

Actually, Peoria's population closely resembles the national average in many demographics. It is, and historically has been, a little microcosm representing a healthy cross-section of America. So it early entertainers, and now corporate marketing divisions, use it as a test bed to see what will work and what wont before deploying on the national stage.

Why won't the vote this nut out? (2)

fred911 (83970) | about 7 months ago | (#46791943)

Total abuse of power.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (4, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#46791971)

Before we get all silly, please remember that the police had a WARRANT to search the guys house. So any discussion of the "rule of law" needs to remember that the legeslative and judicial branches are also full of shit.

No just bitching about the executive abuse of power.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (2)

russotto (537200) | about 7 months ago | (#46792677)

Before we get all silly, please remember that the police had a WARRANT to search the guys house.

A warrant obtained from a rubber-stamp magistrate buddy of the mayor or through a falsely sworn affadavit doesn't turn a witchhunt into "rule of law".

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (0)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#46792983)

No, it proves that the "rule of law" is a bullshit concept.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 7 months ago | (#46792747)

He sought said warrant didn't he? Whom should we blame if not the idiot who sought the warrant. Yes it never should have been granted, but it probably was granted because he's the Mayor and he has that kind of power. So again, I ask you, whom should we blame if not the guy who abuses his power to seek a warrant in a case where no such warrant was ... well ... warranted.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (2)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 7 months ago | (#46793003)

The distinct branches of government are only of value to a free society when the branches oppose each-other to act as "checks and balances".

Blaming the mayor is like blaming one dead hard drive for a failure of the raid-1 array. Sure, that one bad disk is a problem but if the overall system was doing its job, then the news story would just be about a mayor trying something stupid and failing (an email from the SAN about a disk that needs to be replaced).

If cops showed up at this guy's house, it took all 3 branches of government to completely lose their shit.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 7 months ago | (#46793157)

O_O that's a dorky analogy

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793669)

If cops showed up at this guy's house, it took all 3 branches of government to completely lose their shit.

No, only 2.

Re:Why won't the vote this nut out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793493)

Before we get all silly, please remember that the police had a WARRANT to search the guys house.

Does a caps-locked "WARRANT" grant police powers beyond those of a mere lowercase "warrant?"

freedom of speech (3)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 7 months ago | (#46791953)

does not include freedom after speech

Re:freedom of speech (4, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | about 7 months ago | (#46792095)

Yes it does. Otherwise it's "freedom of talking". Freedom of speech means that no government entity can go after you for the content of your communications, whether broadcast or otherwise. Where exactly that crosses with Secret classifications, I don't know, but freedom of speech necessarily implies freedom from persecution (from government) for speech.

Re:freedom of speech (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46792367)

Freedom of speech means that no government entity can go after you for the content of your communications, whether broadcast or otherwise.

Unless of course it has something to do with politics ("campaign finance reform").

Because obviously the founders wanted to protect nude dancing, not that nasty political speech.

someone please beat Jim Ardis to death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46791993)

with a sack of constitutions

Twitter rolled (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46792029)

So basically if a Jackboot^W LEO asks for account info on anyone without a warrant or even reasonable evidence that a crime has even been committed, Twitter will just hand over your private details to them without question.

Re:Twitter rolled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792521)

That's what happens when you let CONservatives run companies. Instead, they should be Eich'ed like that idiot moron at Firefox. He publicly proved he considers gays to be subhuman, and the public won a great fight against his kind. The CONservatives at Twitter need to be shamed and fired at the bare minimum. Prison time for their racism would be an even more appropriate solution.

Re:Twitter rolled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793591)

Wow it must be comforting to live in a world where everything is black and white and conservatives are always the bad guys.

I was a brainwashed liberal in college once too, hopefully you grow up someday.

..and now the slashdot effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792041)

A few more followers incoming.

In Communist America (1)

Hategrin (3579025) | about 7 months ago | (#46792045)

Governor makes parodies of you. And people on Slashdot were just talking about how much more free the US is than Russia. Looks like we can't even criticize our govt anymore.

Re:In Communist America (3, Insightful)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 7 months ago | (#46792217)

This IS the exception, not the rule. We ARE more free than Russia. Comparisons can be made, and we're on a slippery slope, but lets be a little more realistic here. If I write a scathing article about my local mayor, I won't get killed in a dark alley. I'm in Portland. Scathing articles about Sam Adams were a party trick for a little bit. Poor bastard.

Re:In Communist America (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 7 months ago | (#46793243)

Sam Adams aint a particularly bad beer, certainly nor one deserving of a scathing article. Now if you want to bad mouth Pabst Blue Ribbon ...

Freedom of Speech (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46792213)

Freedom of speech is not freedom to impersonate or defame. From this article [pjstar.com] ;

The @Peoriamayor account began in late February or early March with a photo of Ardis and a bio that stated he enjoyed serving the city and included his city email address.
The content of tweets, or entries on the account, ranged from ambiguous to offensive, with repeat references to sex and drugs — and comparisons of Ardis to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as Ford’s drug use while in office became public.
By about March 10, the bio of the Twitter account was changed to indicate it was a parody account.

As for indicating it is a parody account, how many people read the whole bio of a twitter poster?

Re:Freedom of Speech (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792287)

As for indicating it is a parody account, how many people read the whole bio of a twitter poster?

Just as many people as those that read the detailed information about how movies claim to be "based on a true story" when in fact they have absolutely nothing to do with reality. Or, how many people actually read the EULAs they agree to.

I'm not sure what your point is. It is blatantly obvious that it is a parody. Even if this guy had committed a crime, which he didn't, they did not follow procedures in their handling of the situation.

Re:Freedom of Speech (2)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 7 months ago | (#46793503)

WHAT!?!?!

But the Amityville horror was a true story of an actual event!

They said it was based on a true story! Not it was inspired by a true story they heard while drunk and can sort of remember.

If the Stolen Valor Act Didn't Fly . . . (4, Insightful)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 7 months ago | (#46792233)

. . . then impersonating a public official is not going to either. The Supreme Court basically ruled that you can outright lie about serving in the military because that is your first amendment right.

Now if someone is trying to lie about being a public official to get into a restricted area or hell, lying about being a veteran to get a free lunch at Denny's on Memorial Day, that might be a crime, but this guy defrauded nobody.

The best case scenario for the mayor is a civil lawsuit for libel, but it is so blatantly obviously a parody account that it would just be a waste of everyone's money. But why use your own money to sue someone when you can send the police to unconstitutionally harass them?

Re:If the Stolen Valor Act Didn't Fly . . . (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 7 months ago | (#46793177)

. . . then impersonating a public official is not going to either. The Supreme Court basically ruled that you can outright lie about serving in the military because that is your first amendment right.

Now if someone is trying to lie about being a public official to get into a restricted area or hell, lying about being a veteran to get a free lunch at Denny's on Memorial Day, that might be a crime, but this guy defrauded nobody.

whats the stolen valor act? that makes no sense. who cares if somebody lies about being a veteran?

Re:If the Stolen Valor Act Didn't Fly . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793543)

whats the stolen valor act? that makes no sense. who cares if somebody lies about being a veteran?

War veterans care and rightly so. Part of the remuneration they (should) get in return for going to war for their country is that the rest of the country treats them with a certain exclusive respect. Not all remuneration in society is monetary and those who fake being veterans devalue the "respect remuneration" for real veterans since it introduces an element of doubt in some peoples' minds regarding the veteran status of the real ones. And that's despicable.

Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant... (1)

datorum (1280144) | about 7 months ago | (#46792311)

Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant for such bullshit?

Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792575)

Yes, Warrants are about $1000 in cash handed to the judge before he enters the court room.

Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46792705)

Who's going to tell the judge no? Who's going to enforce it?

Sometimes a judge will be so egregiously corrupt that the higher courts will discipline them, but it's quite infrequent, and I've never heard of it happening when he was acting to support the local politicos. (And even then the "discipline" is generally trivial in comparison to the offense.)

Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 7 months ago | (#46793173)

Who's going to tell the judge no? Who's going to enforce it?

Sometimes a judge will be so egregiously corrupt that the higher courts will discipline them, but it's quite infrequent, and I've never heard of it happening when he was acting to support the local politicos. (And even then the "discipline" is generally trivial in comparison to the offense.)

I'm curious - can you site one instance in which you "heard of" a judge not being disciplined because "he was acting to support the local politicos". It seems unlikely you actually have such knowledge. My guess is that you are generalizing, or guessing, or just wildly speculating.

Re:Is it even legal for a judge to sign a warrant. (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 7 months ago | (#46793253)

I imagine the "site" would be a bar, jawboning with his buddies.

Dat Streissand (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792333)

> The original Twitter account had a total of 50 followers. The new account has over 200.

People almost care!

Planted drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792991)

"In the end, they didn't arrest anybody for running the Twitter account, but they did charge a guy with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, so that should allow them to justify the whole thing'

Re:Planted drugs (1)

xushi (740195) | about 7 months ago | (#46793805)

Isn't that considered fruit from the poisonous tree?

What an Ass, a troll got em by the short hairs (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46793105)

"Nevertheless, police raided this home and intend to charge whoever was responsible for the account for false impersonation of a public official."

I have a hotspot up (as per EFF https://www.eff.org/ [eff.org] ), at this time 3 people are using it, I may have hassles over it but I've got the time.

Re:What an Ass, a troll got em by the short hairs (2)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 7 months ago | (#46793269)

So a "true" impersonation of a public official would be allowed? Does it require poorly applied makup, a badly tailored suit and accepting bribes from local busnessmen?

Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Pa (-1, Flamebait)

katiewilliam (3621675) | about 7 months ago | (#46793379)

Twitter has implemented two new mobile features that'll make photos on the platform more social....http://bit.ly/1ngGLzt

Asshat Mayor (1)

G4Cube (863788) | about 7 months ago | (#46793505)

I'm predicting a $300,000 jury award to the guy and his ACLU lawyers.
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