Wonga faces social media storm after forcing Twitter to remove satirical material

One of the characters from the Wonga ads
One of the characters from the Wonga ads

Wonga is facing a social media backlash after forcing Twitter to remove one of its user's satirical posts about the practices of the payday loan company for infringing its copyright.

The post by Twitter user @Brandy_Snap featured a Hogarth painting with a face of one of the characters in the company’s marketing superimposed onto the image, alongside the Wonga logo and text stating "fed up of final demands, whining remarks, and Debtors’ Prison?"

Brandy Snap has posted the takedown notice they were sent by Twitter that complains the marketing character ‘Earl’, who has featured in many adverts, and the trademarked Wonga.com speech bubble are depicted in the "infringing work".

The takedown notice cites the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in the message to the user.

Twitter when contacted said it does not comment on individual cases, but pointed out its trademark policy and parody, commentary and fan account guidelines.

The user Brandy Snap has republished the offending tweet, which has now been retweeted hundreds of times, resulting in it getting far more exposure than the original tweet.

The Open Rights Group, a lobbying group that seeks to protect people’s rights in a digital age, has picked up on the case as part of its ongoing campaign to modernise the law to allow copyright material to be used in satire.

Wonga had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. 

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