Report: FBI Alerted Twitter To Pants-Shitting Undertaker Parody Account
10:01 AM EST on December 19, 2022
One of my favorite Twitter accounts is @baberuth. The account joined in 2007, just a few weeks after I did. I’m not sure when it entered into the sports Twitter ether, but I’ve known about it for at least a decade. It’s a parody account registered as the Red Sox were on their way to a 2007 World Series win. It is pretending to be Babe Ruth.
This account is terrible. “Letting you know the curse is not over and never was. The real curse is that you have to win another world series now, The Babe!” is its first tweet. “I heard a Red Slox fan yelling he smelt Sweep, He was actually smelling Sheep (Red Slox fans) being led to the slaughter. The Babe!” is the second tweet. Its third and final tweet is my favorite. “Thanks for turning Fenway Pak into ‘CLOWN TOWN’. Did they take their little clown car with them for ‘THE DANCING FOOL’. The Babe!” This account posits a world where Babe Ruth is alive, hates the Red Sox and Jonathan Papelbon, and cannot spell “Fenway Park.” Like I said, this is one of my favorite accounts. The Babe!
Whoever made this account, presumably a Yankees fan, must’ve agreed that this was terrible. Because those are the only three tweets that it has ever sent. Since then, it has just existed on Twitter, sitting there, with those three terrible tweets. Hopefully it will be there forever. At some point the one account it was following was removed. There is something really entertaining (to me, at least) about a parody account idea that its creator gave up on almost instantly—all three tweets were sent on Oct. 26, 2007.
There are a lot of parody accounts on Twitter. Old Hoss Radbourn, a parody of the old-timey baseball pitcher, is a good one. Sadly most of them are bad. People used to pretend to be snowstorms and other natural disasters. Years ago, the site was overrun by fake Will Ferrell and Katt Williams accounts posting stolen half-attempts at jokes. Donald Trump is @realdonaldtrump on Twitter because there already had been multiple parody accounts of him—not that you can really tell the difference between a real and a parody Trump account. Tony La Russa sued Twitter over a parody account calling him a drunk. That lawsuit helped push Twitter to introduce “verification”—a little note telling people that this was, indeed the real Tony La Russa or Trump or, oddly, @pourmecoffee. “Is that the real Pour Me Coffee?” was a question people previously had on Twitter.
When Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter in late October, he allowed people to begin purchasing the “blue check”—it’s actually a white check on a blue field—if they subscribed to Twitter’s premium features service. This led to a mass of accounts buying blue checks in order to impersonate celebrities, as a way of trolling Twitter’s users, owners, and perhaps make an argument about health care in the United States. Paid-for verification was then suspended; recently it was brought back.
Meanwhile, Musk has been giving Twitter’s internal communication to all of the most exhausting, annoying people on the site; people who seem to spend their entire existence complaining about what other people are saying to them on Twitter. They’ve been calling it “The Twitter Files.” They are impossible to follow—Musk gave people the documents with the requirement that they be released as Twitter threads first. I think Twitter threads should be years-long, occasionally-updated chronicles of the white Philadelphia accent, clips from Baywatch or clips from Knight Rider. Journalism that is longer than a few tweets should go in an article, where you can pad your story with a bunch of rambling until you get to the thing promised in the headline (don’t worry; we’re close).
Tom Ley, editor-in-chief of this website, wrote earlier this month that the Twitter Files are basically ignorable. Well, sometimes Defector is wrong! I would like to apologize in Tom’s stead here, because Friday’s Twitter Files drop contained some of the most important information in the history of the world. By that, I mean it contained something incredibly funny.
Matt Taibbi is a writer whom I know best from the 2005 New York Press article “The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death Of The Pope.” (Number 50: “Pope survives just long enough to be acquired by Isiah Thomas for Stephon Marbury, 2005 #1 pick and cash considerations. ‘We feel like we've made ourselves younger and more competitive,’ Thomas says.”) He has been one of the scolds reporting on the Twitter Files and, unfortunately, this story is not nearly as good as the one joking about Pope John Paul II’s death. In his first thread, Taibbi failed to note that the mysterious tweets the Biden campaign asked to have removed in 2020 contained nude photos of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son. And in Friday’s Twitter Files dump, Taibbi waited until tweet 13 to drop the most important part of the story. He didn’t even mention how amazing it was!
The email Taibbi posted shows the FBI San Francisco office emailing its Twitter contacts—who they obviously knew well, as we can decipher from the salutation “Hello Twitter contacts”—about four accounts that the FBI flagged as possibly having violated the site’s terms of service. Only one of those accounts, @fromMA, is still active; the others were suspended by Twitter. But there’s one account on there that deserves a deeper look: @madandpissedoff, which was not any sort of state actor or terrorist as far as I can tell. It was, instead, a parody account of professional wrestler The Undertaker that role-played as “PISSED OFF TAKER.” Originally, the account was just @pissedofftaker, but that was banned at some point. Here was the conceit of the account: The Undertaker was constantly shitting his pants.
That’s simplifying it a little. PISSED OFF TAKER would post giant, disgusting meals, then tweet that he went into a “fugue state,” had his pants removed by a mysterious Mr. Brown, and then had his pants put back on him filled with human shit. PISSED OFF TAKER would then explain that he did not shit his pants; it was Mr. Brown.
This has led to some incredible reactions. Louise Mensch, the former member of British parliament who wrote the infamous tweet about Steve Bannon getting the death penalty, tweeted that she thought the account was likely a Russian state actor. “Strong whiff of Borscht & Vodka,” she wrote, before deleting her account.
Despite this, she did mention something that might explain the reason for the FBI’s email. Madandpissedoff.com is a forum that requires no registration; as a result, it’s mostly full of spam, trolls, and racist nonsense. It’s like a guest book on a person’s homepage on the World Wide Web in the 1990s. Maybe someone at the FBI thought the Twitter account was affiliated with the website? That would be a classic law enforcement blunder that is at least pretty harmless to everyone except PISSED OFF TAKER. It also leads me to think that maybe the FBI was also involved in the early-December banning of Tom Reynolds, aka @tombrodude, a popular Twitter user who died in 2016.
I desperately want that to be true; it would be one last great joke from Reynolds. But there are other possible explanations for the banning of @madandpissedoff. Was the FBI email not real? (It seems to be real; the FBI did not return a request for comment.) Did The Undertaker and WWE contact the FBI to get the account removed? (I would love this, but it seems unlikely that they’d contact the San Francisco office; the WWE did not return a request for comment.) Is the FBI just ridiculously, ridiculously incompetent at times? Well, sure, but that doesn’t fully explain it, either.
I must only come to one conclusion: Mr. Brown is real. The Undertaker really has been eating huge meals and having his pants removed while passing out afterward. Mr. Brown has been shitting in the pants, then putting them back on The Undertaker. And Mr. Brown has enough contacts high up in the world of law enforcement that he has successfully gotten The Undertaker’s alt removed from twitter.
Look, this is just as silly as everything else about this story, about as ridiculous as signing a tweet “The Babe!” So why can’t that be the explanation?