For reasons that still aren't entirely clear, in July someone swapped in bleached-out U.S. flags on the Brooklyn Bridge. Almost immediately, Twitter parody @BicycleLobby claimed responsibility. Yesterday, according to the New York Times, the Manhattan district attorney's office subpoenaed the anonymous account.
When @BicycleLobby claimed responsibility for the flags last month, a bunch of news organizations, including the AP, reported it as fact. Here's the problem, though. @BicycleLobby is quite (quite) obviously a parody account. They even say so in their Twitter bio, right after calling themselves "An all-powerful enterprise." The Twitter account itself was started in response to a comical comment made by anti-bike activist and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz.
In fact, here are some of the other things they've claimed responsibility for:
This is not the first time that prosecutors have gone after Twitter to gain information about anonymous accounts. There have been cases related to the Occupy protests and WikiLeaks. But this one makes the Manhattan district attorney look frivolous and kinda stupid, especially when @BicycleLobby continues to post things like this:
Apparently, the city is on the case, and not being too distracted by the Twitter musings of a very funny person. Yesterday, NYPD chief Bill Bratton said he has a "very good idea" who planted the flags. The whole subpoena is embedded below, should you like to read it. [New York Times]
Photo by Richard Drew/AP