BP Asks for Disclaimer on Fake Twitter Account

Owner of fake BP Twitter account adds message saying it's not real.

Jun 10, 2010— -- Embattled oil giant BP has finally achieved a measure of success this week, forcing a Twitter account bearing the company's name to publicly declare that it's a fake. But there's a catch.

The anonymous operator of @BPGlobalPR, the Twitter account that's mocked BP's oil spill clean-up efforts with a stream of satirical posts for the past three weeks, adhered to the company's request for a disclaimer -- and also used the opportunity take another potshot:

"We are not associated with Beyond Petroleum, the company that has been destroying the Gulf of Mexico for 52 days," the new disclaimer reads.

Since launching in mid-May, @BPGlobalPR has gained widespread popularity, topping 150,000 followers this week. Meanwhile, BP's real Twitter account, @BP_America, has only attracted about 13,500 followers.

Twitter contacted the owner of the spoof account Tuesday to ask that he specify that it's just a joke, according to the New York Times.

"BP requested that the account holder be asked to comply with Twitter's guidelines regarding parody," Twitter said in a statement. "Twitter subsequently provided suggestions of best practices that are found on our parody policy page."

A BP spokesman told ABCNews.com, "People will use spoof sites and parody and satire and clearly that's absolutely their right to do so. But I think we would be keen to make sure there wasn't any confusion [with] what BP was [actually saying]. We fully respect the rights of people to comment, even use humor, to discuss the situation. … We would want to avoid any risk of confusion with what we're doing."

Fake BP Twitter Feed Spouts One-Liners

Presumably after Twitter reached out to the owner, the operator of @BPGlobalPR tweeted, "Not sure what we've done wrong, but we've been asked to change our name/profile to indicate that we're 'fake'."

Later, the operator tweeted, "Will Twitter please shut down @BP_America - no one can tell if it's a joke!"

While the company's real account @BP_America provides updates about volunteer efforts, links to video clips and procedures meant to plug the leak spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the fake account offers a more satirical take:

"Think about it this way, the ocean is like rootbeer and oil is like ice cream. We just made America a giant rootbeer float!," reads an early post.

"Really worried about the effect this disaster will have on bikini season. The sun is still shining ladies, get outt there!," reads another.

Nearby New Orleans has received several dedicated call-outs in the Twitter stream.

"We threw one helluva party in New Orleans last night! Officially declaring a company wide day of rest to clear our heads. LOL," said one tweet.

"Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/ special tribute to Muddy Waters," the BP Twitter imposter wrote later.

Presumably in response to reports that actor Kevin Costner funded a new technology to clean up oil spills, the fake account tweeted, "Sorry Kevin Costner, if we were interested in what you had to say, we'd rent Tin Cup."

@BPGlobalPR Selling T-Shirts to Raise Money for Clean-Up Efforts

Other posts focus on T-shirts ostensibly created by the mock BP Twitterer.

"Because we're spending our time doing what really matters... making "BP Cares" t-shirts www.streetgiant.bigcartel.com #bpcares," said one post.

The Web site selling the $25 T-shirts said, "All proceeds from these satirical shirts will be given to www.healthygulf.org."