Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 20, 2014

Hulk, Smashed

Hulk, SmashedUpdated, 7:23 p.m.: Washington’s latest fake Twitter account had a lifespan comparable to a tweet: short and sweet.

@ReutersHulk was born this morning after the news agency Reuters (or @reuters, if you will) tweeted in all caps that the Supreme Court’s upholding of part of an Arizona immigration law was a “DEFEAT FOR OBAMA.”

D.C. insiders took issue with that interpretation, arguing it was a win for the administration. They also took issue with the caps.

One insider, who spoke with Heard on the Hill on condition of anonymity, took issue with the taking of issue and created a parody account in the vein of @DRUNKHULK.

“HULK THINK CRITICS SMASHED TOO HARD,” the creator told us in an email. “SEEMS TO HULK, ALL CAPS NO LONGER ALWAYS DENOTE SHOUTING ON INTERNET. ALL CAPS CAN BE REPRESENTATIVE OF URGENCY. ALL CAPS COMMONLY USED TO DENOTE MULTI-MEDIA CONTENT (EXAMPLE: ‘PHOTOS’ OR ‘VIDEO’).”

From there, the account took on a life of its own, making fun of journalism, Twitter and Washington culture, for example, in this tweet: HULK USES “CONFIRMED” TO MEAN SMASH, “BREAKING” TO MEAN SMASH, “SMASH” TO MEAN “NEW KITTENS ON @BUZZFEED.”

@ReutersHulk drew attention from Beltway media over the course of a slow afternoon, but the account was eventually suspended by Twitter after Reuters’ Jack Shafer complained.

The account’s creator found the suspension process mysterious.

“HULK CRY OUT TO SKY FOR LIMITED FREEDOM OF SPEECH; IRONIC THAT ‘REPORTER’ WAS ONE TO SMASH,” the creator wrote us in an email. “TWITTER OFTEN SMASH PARODY ACCOUNTS FOR MYSTERIOUS REASONS, INSTEAD OF DECIDING WHEN TO SMASH ACCOUNTS THROUGH A TRANSPARENT PROCESS. WHEN HULK SMASH TWITTER, AND TWITTER SMASH HULK: NOBODY WINS.”

Update: Shafer tells Heard on the Hill that he did not, in fact, complain to Twitter about the account.

“I was kidding about having him killed,” he wrote in an email.

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