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Twitter shuts down fake ML city account

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | March 7, 2022 1:20 AM

MOSES LAKE — Social media platform Twitter has shut down a fake account pretending to be the City of Moses Lake.

According to Lynne Lynch, a spokesperson for the city, Moses Lake officials asked Twitter to shut the account down after a member of the city council brought it to their attention early last week.

In an email to the Columbia Basin Herald, Lynch said the fake account didn’t tell any obvious untruths about the city, but primarily shared older official postings.

“A few examples are eating disorder awareness and standing with Ukraine,” Lynch wrote, adding that since the city’s logo is an official trademark, whoever it was who created the account was also using the city’s logo without permission.

According to Lynch, city hall does not have an official Twitter account, though the Moses Lake Police Department and tourism promotion do.

Lynch wrote she filed a similar complaint with Instagram in December 2021, and the social media company — owned by Facebook parent Meta — had since removed the account.

“Today, I filed a second trademark infringement report with Instagram regarding a second page using the City’s logo without prior permission,” Lynch wrote on Friday.

As part of its company policies set for at the help.twitter.com website, Twitter said it does not allow users to violate the copyrights or trademarks owned by other users. The site explains that current laws across the world are designed to protect trademarked materials and prevent unauthorized use that may lead to misinformation or confusion.

However, the company added that it only investigates reports of copyright or trademark infringement submitted by the trademark or copyright holder themselves or a legally authorized representative.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com