Microsoft demanded the takedown of a phony Twitter account purpoting to be that of Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky.
Over the weekend, Microsoft used its @BuildWindows8 account to send a message to the account owner, saying "@StevenSinofsky please see guidelines on parody and impersonation. Your account is not following them them and has been reported."
By Saturday evening, the phony account had been removed, but a new one that was strikingly similar to the original had seemingly taken its place.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows users to post under pseudonyms, which has led to high-profile spoof accounts for tech celebrities, including now fewer than half a dozen for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. But rarely has a prankster gone as deep-down the corporate food chain to parody an executive that few outside of diehard Windows geeks would know by name.
And while many of the accounts are harmless, Microsoft had reason for concern: the person or persons behind the hoax were using the fake Sinofsky Twitter account to answer questions from customers and journalists. The bio on the account did have a clear-cut disclaimer (""I'm all about Windows 8 right now. And having a laugh. Oh, I'm not 'the' Steven Sinofsky by the way. He's got a little project to focus on for now") but that wasn;t enough to tip some people off to the satire.
Neither Twitter or Microsoft have responded to a request for comment, but we'll update the post if they do.