Mayor Rob Frod was abruptly suspended by Twitter on Wednesday morning. Feren says he received no warning or reason for the suspension.
“I’m sure there’s lots of parody accounts," said Ford at Toronto City Hall, adding that phony accounts should be deleted.
Ford's office has not responded to questions about the deleted @TOMayorFrod account.
Feren maintains it was a legitimate satire, but it was nearly identical in appearance to Ford's — it used the same photo, background, biography and general profile of Ford's Twitter account, the only difference being he switched the 'r' and 'o' in Ford.
That turned out to be the reason for the suspension. "@TOMayorFrod may be in violation of Twitter's policies on impersonation," read one part of Twitter's response to Feren. He was given 48 hours to edit his bio, photo and account name or he would face permanent suspension.
His suspension became a rallying cry for freedom of expression on Twitter. His many supporters — Mayor Rob Frod was the most popular of many Ford satire accounts — not only have demanded the account's restitution, but also want an explanation as to why it was suspended.
Twitter's rules state that impersonation complaints must be made by, or someone authorized to act on behalf of, the party being impersonated.
Supporters of Feren's Frod say they will file a Freedom Of Information request, specifically looking for "any documentation in the mayor's office pertaining to @TOMayorFrod or Richard Feren."
Feren is not convinced it was the mayor, but agrees there is something suspicious about the suspension. "As Rob Ford would say, there's something fishy going on and it stinks to high heaven," he says.
One of @TOMayorFrod’s first post-suspension tweet: "So good to be back on the job again. Hey, that thing better not be on."
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