Parody Twitter account closes, returns
OTTAWA • A Twitter account billing itself as a parody of Iqra Khalid disappeared briefly but then returned Friday, its previous tweets deleted, after the Liberal MP complained about references to her Muslim heritage and claims she supports sharia law and the Islamic State militant group.
Khalid, who was targeted with hate mail and death threats last year over her controversial motion to condemn Islamophobia and systemic racism, had asked Twitter to investigate the account.
On Thursday, the account’s owner acknowledged a warning from Twitter, after which the username, Twitter handle, photo and biography were all altered in an apparent attempt to hew more closely to the platform’s rules for parody accounts.
The account vanished briefly from Twitter altogether, then resurfaced a few hours later, its earlier tweets deleted. The anonymous user posted a note urging Khalid and mainstream media outlets to spend the same energy attacking “white privilege hatefests” that they do going after parody accounts.
More than 50 parody accounts of Liberal cabinet ministers and MPs have sprouted up in the last few weeks, all linked online by the hashtag “parodycabinet.”
The number of accounts targeting government members exploded last month when Twitter shut down one that veered too close to impersonating Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
Khalid, who represents a riding in Mississauga, Ont., said she’d be fine with the parody account — except she felt it went too far.
One post from that account that Khalid took issue with included a photo of a real flyer for an upcoming weekend barbecue she’s hosting, but described it as an “anti-Canadian pro-Islamic Halal BBQ event.”
“I’m not pissed off,” Khalid said. “I just don’t want the continual spread of misinformation.”