@PaulRyanGosling (and the Mouthy Housewives) Stand Up to Twitter Police
"Hello, we have received a valid report that your account, @PaulRyanGosling, is engaged in non-parody impersonation."
Say what?! One minute you’re gearing up for another big night of trying to be funny online, and the next thing you know, it seems like the VP candidate for the GOP is trying to shut down your two-month-old Twitter parody account. Or maybe it’s Ryan Gosling? But, no, Gosling is too dreamy and smart to think we're impersonating him, right?
Hey girl, don't let the personhood issue get you down. You still get to choose what to make for dinner tonight.
— Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling) August 12, 2012
Wait. Maybe we should back up and explain how this all started.
Back on August 11, we woke up to the news that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had announced that Paul Ryan would be his running mate. Mouthy Marinka tweeted this from her personal account: “Excited about Paul Ryan Gosling!”
Across the East River, Mouthy Karen was awake way too early for a weekend morning. She saw this tweet and immediately implored Marinka to start a Twitter account for @paulryangosling.
Hey girl, turn off the lights and lemme close a few of your loopholes.
— Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling) September 28, 2012
Bing, bang, boom, all the Mouthies were on board, having a blast poking fun at Paul Ryan’s anti-woman policies and cheesy infomercial workout proclivities. None of us suspected that by Monday afternoon we would have more Twitter followers than all of us combined -- or that in the weeks to come, we would get a shout-out on Rachel Maddow, and praised by places like HuffingtonPost and CNN.com as one of the funniest parody Twitter accounts of the 2012 election. I mean, we all thought we were HILARIOUS, but we could not have predicted that @paulryangosling would garner such a huge following in such a short amount of time. We were thrilled!
With each new mention we were emailing each other in excitement. "OMG, Mia Farrow retweeted us!" "Holy shitballs, Martha fucking Plimpton is following us!" "Bwahahaha, our friends are retweeting us and they don’t know it’s us!: Suddenly, we were all watching the political news with a deeper interest, watching every moment of the conventions, and reading up on the official party platforms in a way that we might not have otherwise.
Hey girl, you're too hot to need a Pell Grant! Work that pole!
— Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling) August 14, 2012
We did decide pretty quickly that to be taken seriously as political humorists, we wanted to remain anonymous for as long as humanly possible. Thus began over two months of keeping a big secret from our friends and families. Okay, we may have told a few people, but we threatened them with friendship Death Row if they breathed a word to anyone.
Hey girl, I told Mitt to wear a bolo tie so he can seem more casual and common man. He has ignored my fashion advice again.
— Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling) October 4, 2012
Through all of this, we knew we were having fun and we were psyched that people were responding to it, but we didn’t anticipate that our tweets might be seen as any kind of threat to people inside the Romney/Ryan campaign. Truth be told, we will never know for sure who it was that complained to Twitter that we were violating their rules regarding impersonation. Maybe it wasn’t anyone associated with Paul Ryan. It does sure seem unlikely that it could have been anyone else.
Hey girl, I hope you're middle class because I'm totally ready to screw you.
— Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling) August 11, 2012
Which brings us back to Tuesday night when we got suspended by Twitter, and engaged in a most inane back-and-forth with a Twitter safety patrol officer. We changed our bio to clearly state that we were a parody account (it had only said “The Better Paul Ryan” before that), but we held firm that we should not have to change our username to clarify that we were not impersonating a real person. We also realized this might be a blessing in disguise, the perfect moment to come out as the Mouthy women we are, using humor to express our views on politics. And, hopefully, the news would prompt Twitter to realize that only an idiot wouldn’t know @paulryangosling was a parody.
We never did hear back from Twitter following our lengthy emails detailing exactly how we were in complete compliance with their rules for parody accounts -- but as of now, we have not been suspended again. We get to keep our name. We have less than three weeks left until election night, and we are as fired up as ever to continue making people laugh at the insanity swirling around this campaign. We hope you’ll join us for the rest of the ride, and most important, don’t forget to vote!