Though no figure was given, it was widely believed that the 2009 “transfer of control” of the @cnnbrk Twitter account — which at the time was not owned by CNN but rather a private individual was an astronomical. However, when it comes to matters concerning the worldwide revered figure Nelson Mandela, as always, things have a somewhat more heart-warming outcome.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation issued a press release announcing the “Return of Nelson Mandela Twitter page”. The release followed the Foundation’s recent ownership of the @NelsonMandela Twitter account. The account was created in August 2008 by Richard Millington, founder of FeverBee Limited, an online community consultancy who was contacted by the Foundation last week to request ownership of the account. The London-based Millington did not hestitate to hand the account over.
“We are extremely pleased with Mr Millington’s response and we would like to encourage others who hold domains using Nelson Mandela’s name to hand them over to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory,” said the Foundation.
The transfer has proven to be far smoother than a similar case that involved popular talk show host Jay Leno who went to court over a url dispute. This practice with a general domain name (for example Jay Leno) is known as cybersquatting. However, on Twitter it is referred to as “Name Squatting” and prohibited under Twitter’s rules.
Following the unsavoury events of January when hoax reports of Mandela’s death broke on Twitter, it is certainly understandable why the foundation would want its own presence on Twitter.