Did Toronto Mayor Rob Ford demand that a Twitter account parodying him be suspended?
That's what some Twitter users are claiming on Wednesday, as Richard Feren's Twitter satire persona @TOMayorFrod was suddenly suspended from the social media service.
"I'm not exactly sure," said Feren about his suspension. "Just doing the usual, and suddenly suspended without warning. Have filed an appeal to discover why."
The account @TOMayorFrod, which displays as Mayor Rob Frod on Twitter with the official photo of the mayor, has confused and entertained users for months. At first the tweeting was anonymous, but then Feren stepped out from behind the screen this fall to reveal himself as Mayor Frod.
Twitter's impersonation policy states that "accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended."
But it also states that it only accepts complaints from "the individual being impersonated or someone legally authorized to act on his or her behalf."
Feren said he found the suspension odd, because he has been in contact with Ford's office about the account. "I've spoken with staffers, they've known about account for a while."
The mayor's office could not immediately be reached for comment about the @TOMayorFrod account.
Mayor Rob Frod is the most popular among hundreds of Rob Ford parody accounts. He is often retweeted by city councillors and journalists.
But there is no mistaking who is the butt of the joke. A sample tweet from Feren: "Have a great weekend, #Toronto! I've gone on vacation now that all my work as mayor is done. See you on the campaign trail! #TOpoli"