You might remember earlier this year, when we helped highlight the budding career of Twitterer Brian Burke, who — even then — you could tell wasn’t the real Brian Burke, who happens to be the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Well, it turns out that Burke noticed his fake self’s Twitter account, too, and he was none too pleased about the jokes it made at the expense of Burke’s predecessor, John Ferguson. How upset was he? So much so that he had his lawyer look into suing the impersonator.
(The man who would sue a blogger named Down Goes Brown.)
According to TORONTO STAR hockey columnist Damien Cox, Burke had his lawyer explore a lawsuit last month, discovering that the man producing the brianbuke feed is a Toronto-area blogger who posts under the name of Down Goes Brown. but a suit wasn’t deemed appropriate. Instead, Burke expected the account to simply be brought down, which, thanks to the power of the internet, it wasn’t. Instead, goold ‘ol twitter.com/brianburke is still up and tweeting, now with the modest admission “Yes, it’s a parody” in the bio space.
You can say this for Burke: At least he has some small sense of humor. While other GMs would probably bristle and continue fighting the feed after learning it was up and running, Burke shrugged it off and said there was little else he could do.
“I guess I don’t have a problem with that,” he grumbled. “It’s the age we live in, I guess. … But there has to be a degree of responsibility on the Internet. If someone’s going to try and impersonate Brian Burke, I’m going to sue his ass.”
Of course, if every celebrity starts suing their fake Twitter feeds, lawyers are going to have a lot more business … and Twitter is going to have a lot less comedy. Neither one of those things will make life any better, so let’s hope others start taking on at least the modicum of humor Burke is showing now. It’s the least they can do.