Stephen Harper's new spokesperson, Andrew MacDougall, started a Twitter firestorm Tuesday after posting a clever wisecrack in response to some digital heckling.
User @oxy28 tweeted, "@PMO_MacDougall how does it feel to work for the biggest asshole in canada?i know i'd be proud."
MacDougall's responded: "I wouldn't know. I don't work for you."
While the clever retort immediately generated a wave of tweets congratulating MacDougall for his sense of humour, others have questioned whether the prime minister's spokesperson should have allowed himself to get so thoroughly trolled.
In the world of Web slang, a troll is anyone who posts an inflammatory or off-topic message with the aim of provoking a response. @oxy28 seems to fit that definition perfectly.
The user has few tweets or followers and still has the default egg image as an avatar. Most of the tweets from the account are profane attempts to provoke responses from Stephen Harper, Ryan Seacrest, Snooki and Britney Spears, among others.
Online, the troll is usually declared winner when he or she succeeds in stirring up debate around their inflammatory post. In the case of MacDougall: mission accomplished.
The PM's spokesperson is by no means the only politico to get caught up in a Twitter fight in recent months.
In October of last year, Treasury Board President Tony Clement made headlines for calling a teen a "jack ass" online after being corrected on a spelling mistake. Clement later apologized.
NDP MP Pat Martin's colourful tweets have also got him in hot water. Two separate f-bombs, one directed at the Tories and another at an economist who questioned the NDP's financial philosophy, both gained widespread attention.
Now MacDougall's Twitter spat has caught the media's attention. Whether that's a win or loss for the man charged with speaking for the prime minister is up to you.