Gingrich Threatens EFCA Twitterer With Lawsuit, Doesn’t Understand Twitter

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The campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act has reached the Twittersphere, and, naturally, foes of organized labor, such as Newt Gingrich, are taking it all in stride.

“We are writing to demand that you immediately take down an illegal and fraudulent posting on Twitter…which falsely purports to be written by our clients and unlawfully uses the name of Messrs. [Newt] Gingrich and [Saul] Anuzis,” reads a letter (PDF) from Stefan Passatino of the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge.

The cease and desist notice comes in response to an online movement intended to convince Gingrich’s Twitter followers (among others) to sign a petition in support of EFCA. Gingrich and his lawyer takes issue with the campaign, but that’s possibly because the finer points of Twitter have eluded both of them.

We have recently learned that a pro-EFCA group calling itself “The Truth About EFCA.Org” and operating a website at that URL, has apparently publish the Posting on Twitter. The Posting falsely purports to have been written by Messrs. Gingrich and Anuzis and includes the Mark [ampersand] as well as the Twitter “handles” of the foregoing individuals.

By that, Gingrich’s attorney means the group posted this.

Which could, I suppose, be interpreted both as a solicitation of Gingrich and Anuzis as well as a statement about them (though does anybody really think Gingrich would sign a pro-EFCA petition?) But anybody with even passing familiarity with Twitter knows that the message isn’t purportedly written by the people named in it. It’s directed at them. Hence the ampersand.

The website for The Truth About EFCA can be seen here. And the Twitterer who’s being threatened with the lawsuit has a blog of his own where he’s written a post about this ordeal. We’ve contacted him (by direct Twitter message!) and we’ll let you know what, if anything, he has to say about his sudden brush with Twitter scandal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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