@DevinCow Now Has More Twitter Followers Than Devin Nunes

from the good-job-everyone dept

Yesterday we wrote about the completely ridiculous lawsuit that Rep. Devin Nunes — a real live Congressional Representative — filed against Twitter, a political communications expert, and two satirical fake Twitter accounts: one pretending to be his cow, and one pretending to be his mom. As we noted, in the lawsuit itself, Nunes’ lawyer points out that the satirical cow had a grand total of 1,204 followers when the lawsuit was initiated. For reference, Devin Nunes’ own Twitter account has ~394,000 followers. When we did our post yesterday, @DevinCow was up to 106,000. And now?

Yup, 399k. Actually, as I’ve been typing this, it’s kept going up, but I’m not going to keep taking screenshots. And, yes, the Cow now has more followers than Rep. Nunes himself:

Great job, Devin. You really shut up that satirical cow.

Now, Twitter, how do we go about getting the satirical fake cow a blue checkmark?

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Comments on “@DevinCow Now Has More Twitter Followers Than Devin Nunes”

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64 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Deven Nunes’ Cow should run for office. I know cartoon characters often win school elections. Animals have been mayors in at least a few towns. Does anyone know the highest office a non-human has been elected to? For the purposes of this question, we will consider Trump to be a human.

Actually, the fact that the cow named itself Deven Nunes’ Cow and not Deven Nunes’s Cow tells us it’s someone who knows their english grammar and takes it seriously. So probably not a real American.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"I believe council/mayor is about as high as most of these cases go, as there are usually requirements of being a human of sound mind for anything higher."

Requirements such as that are actually far rarer than you’d think. For good reason, admittedly – in a democracy how would you go about determining what a "sound mind" was?

hence since ancient roman times all the way to the modern day elections have been made which featured non-human candidates effectively carrying the popular vote and the day.

i think Michael Moore is one of the few who managed to get a ficus plant elected for congress only to have the candidacy declared invalid on what appears to be shaky grounds.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Anyone want to start a California ballot initiative to allow imaginary beings, inanimate objects, and animals to run for statewide and national office? I think it would be pretty simple. If they come in the top 2 in a primary, then the run off is a 3-way. If they actually win the election, then there is a new election and the candidates that ran against them on the final ballot are not allowed to run again.

I guess it should also allow people to run as joke candidates as well. Or you could just add a none of the above to all places on all ballots.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A hashtag meme would be banned from twitter for hacking if it were an account? I just really don’t know how to parse this whole comment. Grammar would help you greatly.

Devin Nunes’s Cow is however not targeted harassment. It exists, and attacks the positions of Devin Nenes and his perceived hypocrisy, but does not actually direct the criticism to Nunes. Much as yelling about these subjects is different when I do it to a random collection of people then if I do it in Rep Nunes’s face, (the later could be harassment, the former is not), speaking about the issues on twitter in general is different then directing your comments at Devin Nunes, Such as by tagging with an @DevinNunes. the cow intelligently doesn’t harass Devin Nunes, by the expedient of not talking to him on twitter. That’s the difference you aren’t comprehending.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Why are right-wingers always such thin-skinned petulant children?"

Because when you find your opinions in direct conflict with what 95% of the rest of humanity believes a bunker mentality and pouting is all you’ve got left.

That, and as quite a few studies have shown, ultra-conservatism and bigotry are overrepresented among the badly educated and unintelligent as that "easy" solution with a catchy slogan everyone can understand…which just doesn’t fit reality.

When the proponents of certain views turn out to be overaged man-children you can’t really blame them when they throw tantrums like overwrought eight-year-old children.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Lawyers are not generally supposed to be jokesters about the law, even if it is allowed (or not sanctioned). One has to wonder if they could take what they seem to appreciate others dishing out, especially if the "parody" or "satire" accounts started striking certain nerves.

The Nunes "parody" seems to have crossed a few lines, and it seems that some of these statements are designed to be taken seriously. Calling something "parody" or "satire" doesn’t make it so.

I think the internet has caused people of all groups to imagine their conduct as ideal or legitimized just because they find a few like minds online. This isn’t specific to any subculture.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Interestingly, whatever lines those might be, the lawsuit alleges crossed lines that are about Nunes’ feelings, and not about parody or free speech.

So whatever lines the GP is saying the cow crossed are ones Nunes’ lawyers didn’t see fit to include in the suit.

Personally I’d argue that some of the content isn’t at all tasteful, and that’s a line that was crossed, but thankfully we don’t have a taste police.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re:

Lawyers are not generally supposed to be jokesters about the law, even if it is allowed (or not sanctioned).

First time I’ve ever heard anyone say so. All the really good lawyers I know like jokes, and plenty of us like jokes about the law (and lawyer jokes).

Sadly, I am terrible at making up, remembering, or telling jokes so I don’t have a good one to provide here.

The best thing I can think of is an anecdote from Woodward’s Supreme Court book, “The Bretheren.” Back at that time, before the case law on obscenity got settled, the Supreme Court would have an annual movie day where they would personally watch (perhaps with their clerks) all the dirty movies that were involved in obscenity cases that term. Justice Marshall actively looked forward to it, while others like Douglas and Black never went because they felt the First Amendment prohibited bans on the grounds of obscenity so there was no point. Burger also didn’t go, more likely because he was a prude.

Apparently the clerks would mock Justice Stewart’s famous statement “I know it when I see it” by periodically pointing out at the good parts, “There it is! I see it, I see it!”

Well, I thought it was funny, anyway.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Lawyers are not generally supposed to be jokesters about the law"

About the law specifically? No. Able to recognise humour when applying laws that make specific exceptions for it? They absolutely should.

"The Nunes "parody" seems to have crossed a few lines"

Can you link to the specific tweets you’re thinking about? I don’t believe you’re correct based on the ones I’ve seen, but if you could point to the examples you’re thinking of there may be a conversation to be had there.

"I think the internet has caused people of all groups to imagine their conduct as ideal or legitimized just because they find a few like minds online"

Yes, but it goes both ways. This is just as likely Nunes being in an echo chgmber and not liking what’s said outside of it, as a group of people going too far because they felt emboldened by their group. More so, in fact, as people stuck in the Fox News bubble always seem to get offended when things they take for granted are actually questioned.

Bombogenesis says:

Doesn't know that gaggle of irrelevant idiots invalidate suit?

That guy is really out of it.

Masnick knows, though, that large numbers of simple gainsayers overwhelm all arguments no matter how well reasoned and insightful. It’s the method proven daily here at Techdirt.

I like reading Techdirt for the startling perspective shift that keeps me alert. Society has divided into those who see reality and those who believe that they see it. Of course, my view is that, like the notions of pirates that they’re winning even while Big Content keeps accumulating victories and new laws, this lawsuit will be settled in a real court, probably not to your liking. Or if not this one, then the principle is sound and the censoring of "platforms" becomes ever more blatant, which will tip a decision in right case.


[I’ve put three dashes there, but last time didn’t seem to work for my favored horizontal rule…]

["Bombogenesis" seems to be about weather, but maybe it’s creating bombastic sock puppets? Perhaps Timothy Geigner aka "Dark Helmet aka "Gary" aka "Scary Devil Monastery" could inform us.]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Doesn't know that gaggle of irrelevant idiots invalidate sui

Does Tim have a brother?

I don’t know which side will ultimately prevail in this dispute. Each side makes a clear case, one for the right to lampoon, even viciously, and the other for saying that this lampooning has limits. This is an excellent test case, and hopefully at some point there will be clear guidance that everyone can follow.

Working in favor of the pro-parody camp is Nunes’ very strong ability to counter this speech. Working against them is that the insults were perhaps a little too vicious.

Bombogenesis says:

Re: Re: Doesn't know that gaggle of irrelevant idiots invalidate

Working in favor of the pro-parody camp is Nunes’ very strong ability to counter this speech. Working against them is that the insults were perhaps a little too vicious.

Uh huh. But working against the latter too is fact that most people simply believe in common decency, and that the parodies have long since gone too far.

Judges all have a conservative tendency and want civil discourse, not gaggles of idiots shouting and hiding dissent. Could tip the balance.

[On the horizontal line topic: you win this round, Masnick! But I’ll keep experimenting.]

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

working against the latter too is fact that most people simply believe in common decency, and that the parodies have long since gone too far

You can believe it has gone too far, but your opinion is meaningless in re: the First Amendment rights of the parodist(s) in question. Until and unless a court rules that the parody accounts are not protected under First Amendment jurisprudence, the posts on said accounts are still legal (and legally protected) speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Doesn't know that gaggle of irrelevant idiots invali

But working against the latter too is fact that most people simply believe in common decency, and that the parodies have long since gone too far.

Judges all have a conservative tendency and want civil discourse, not gaggles of idiots shouting and hiding dissent. Could tip the balance.

Well, the supreme court disagrees with you:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hustler_Magazine_v._Falwell

And the fact that you get sooooo butthurt over your posts being flagged is just fun to watch!!! Especially when you have been told, numerous times, by many different commenters, exactly why your posts are being flagged, not because of dissent, but because of your abusive nature, but you either ignore that, can’t fully understand it, or are just a garden variety troll. Or all of the above.

In other words, there are numerous commenters here who dissent quite often, but are able to hold intelligent (most of the times) conversations about their dissenting opinion. Unlink you who thinks that everybody who does not agree with you is out to get you in some form or another.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Working against them is that the insults were perhaps a little too vicious.

Insults can be vicious and unkind and damn near obscene, but they are still protected by the First Amendment. You can call me “a shitheaded motherfucker who fucks goats and eats babies in his spare time” if you want; I cannot legally do a goddamn thing to punish you for doing so unless you try to claim the second half of that insult as a factual statement.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"You can call me “a shitheaded motherfucker who fucks goats and eats babies in his spare time” if you want; I cannot legally do a goddamn thing to punish you for doing so unless you try to claim the second half of that insult as a factual statement."

I sincerely hope you still have legal recourse if he claims the first half of that is a factual statement as well. 🙂

techflaws (profile) says:

Re: Doesn't know that gaggle of irrelevant idiots invalidate sui

"Masnick knows, though, that large numbers of simple gainsayers overwhelm all arguments no matter how well reasoned and insightful. It’s the method proven daily here at Techdirt."

How would you asshats know? You haven’t posted anything well reasoned or insightful EVER.

Anonymous Coward says:

I patiently await the next report where:

  • Nunes claims this is Twitter not acting "fair" to him. That since Twitter allows reposting of TV news clips, they are a News media organization and thus beholden to the equal time rule. That the equal time rule requires that every follower of the cow account should also be required to follow him for "the real story".
    AND
  • Nunes and Chuck Johnson show up at a press conference together.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I remember when the original version of this limerick got LOL votes. Then it got report votes. Which I personally consider undeserved, but that’s vox populi for you.

And now we’ve managed to come full circle. Someone’s gotten so fed up with blue’s bullshit that they paid actual money to promote this stain on blue’s reputation.

Only out_of_the_blue could fuck up this much.

techflaws (profile) says:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/03/devin-nunes-sued-devincow-now-the-cow-has-more-twitter-followers-than-he-does/?comments=1&post=37044511

The point isn’t to win the lawsuit. The point isn’t even to keep the cow from becoming famous. The point is to garner press for Devin Nunes (which seems to have worked, because here we are) and to allow him to engage in conservative, imaginary grievance politics. Sure, why not sue an imaginary cow for your imaginary grievance?

It’s the same reason that every election cycle, red-state legislators introduce dumb bills like "anti-sharia law" bills, "no aborted fetus tissue in food" bills, and "make students pray again in public school" bills, along with various anti-abortion measures:

It whips up the base, proves the candidates passion for conservative causes, and it lets them see what will stick to the wall (e.g. they have been systematically trying every possible way of limiting women’s access to abortions to see just how far the Supreme Court will let them go – along with trying to stack the bench on the court – ,ost of the bills will be declared unconstitutional, in part or in full; if it’s only in part, they can analyze the part that was found to be Constitutional, and see if they can leverage that further to restrict access to abortion).

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