‘We’ll sue you if you take beach oil’: Fake Twitter account bites into BP
WASHINGTON — The Twitter account claims to be that of British Petroleum’s public relations department but the messages are a little bit, well, odd for a company battling a massive oil spill.
“Please do NOT take or clean any oil you find on the beach. That is the property of British Petroleum and we WILL sue you,” reads one “tweet” from the account @BPGlobalPR.
“If we had a dollar for every complaint about this oil spill, it wouldn’t compare to our current fortune. Oil is a lucrative industry!” says another.
“Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/special tribute to Muddy Waters,” reads a third.
The fake account was created on May 19 by an unknown Twitter user and has quickly attracted nearly 20,000 followers — four times more than the real BP Twitter account @BP_America.
Other messages on @BPGlobalPR:
– “The good news: Mermaids are real. The bad news: They are now extinct.”
– “The ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick!”
– “Thousands of people are attacked by sea creatures every year. We at BP are dedicated to bringing that number down. You’re welcome!”
Toby Odone, a BP spokesman, told Advertising Age that the company is aware of the fake account but has apparently not taken any steps to have it removed.
“I’m not aware of whether BP has made any calls to have it taken down or addressed,” Odone told Ad Age. “People are entitled to their views on what we’re doing and we have to live with those.
“We are doing the best we can to deal with the current situation and to try to stop the oil from flowing and to then clean it up,” Odone said.
The @BPGlobalPR feed is not the only attempt at humor on Twitter regarding the oil spill.
Another account, @common_oil_spil, purports to be the Twitter feed of the oil spill itself.
It spits out terse messages such as “belch” and “glug, glug, glug” or references to the various attempts to plug the well such as “golf balls?”