Wednesday, September 13, 2006

MySpace pulls parody profile

MySpace pulls parody profile
Creators say they used site to criticize pro-death penalty judge's 'extremist' actions

By Lewis Fallis - The Daily Texan is for hipsters, not jokesters.

The popular social networking Web site recently deleted a parody profile of Sharon Keller, a pro-death penalty Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge.

Hooman Hedayati, a government sophomore and president of Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, said he created the parody profile about three weeks ago with friend Scott Cobb, a UT alumnus. They said they formed the false profile to criticize what they called Keller's "scary and extremist" judgments.

Keller's office declined to comment Monday.

The profile features parody blogs about Keller getting free football tickets, in line with recent reports of judges receiving free or discounted tickets to UT football games.

MySpace deleted the profile four times before creating a mostly blank profile themselves to prevent the URL from being used again, Hedayati said.

MySpace representatives were unavailable for comment on Monday.

According to the MySpace terms and conditions page, the Web site reserves the right to reject or remove any posting, or terminate any or all parts of an account "at any time, for any or no reason, with or without prior notice and without liability."

Hedayati and Cobb said they were unwilling to give up and made a new address for the profile. They said they could think of no reason for MySpace to delete the profile, unless Keller or someone from her office had complained.

Hedayati and Cobb are involved in anti-death penalty organizations but said they made the profile just for fun as a "personal hobby."

Hedayati said the two sent MySpace at least four e-mails asking about the deletion, but never received a response.

"It's a parody," Hedayati said. "If anybody look at it, they know it. George Bush has 15 profiles. We are not pretending to be Sharon Keller. If you look at the name, it's Sharon Killer, not Keller. It's clearly just a parody to spread the word about her actions."

Though the MySpace URL for the new profile does have her listed as Sharon Killer, the actual profile refers to her as Keller several times.

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