Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard's Twitter account hacked

Posts hashtag in support of Harambe

CINCINNATI -- Maybe this is our fault.

Maybe we pushed back a little too hard with our colleague's petition to end the Harambe petitions. (Full disclosure: I signed it, and I think you should, too.)

Or maybe it was this story about how we should all feel terrible for whoever runs the Cincinnati Zoo's Twitter account.

Somebody, somehow, drove an Internet prankster over the edge. Now they've gotten a hold of Zoo Director Thane Maynard's Twitter account, and they're not giving it up.

Late Saturday, there was a tweet with a now-common hashtag supporting Harambe:

We've blurred it because it contains an expletive referring to the male anatomy. How this became a tribute to a deceased ape, we'll never know (but we hope you guys aren't doing this at funerals for humans).

Other tweets included "#AnimalRights #JusticeForHarambe" and "I was planning this for a while, so sorry it took so long brother! Have a good time in Heaven. #Harambe"

Michelle Curley, zoo spokeswoman, said Sunday that zoo staff still don't have full control over Thane's account. They were working with Twitter to resolve the issue, Curley said.

The account appeared to be back in its owner's hands Sunday evening.

And while the jokers probably think what they're doing is incredibly clever and funny, it could land them in legal trouble: After Laremy Tunsil's Twitter account was hacked during this year's NFL draft, SI.com reported on possible consequences:

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits, among other things, unlawful access into another person’s computer and data without authorization. Violators of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act can face lengthy prison sentences, as each hack or intrusion can be considered a separate violation of a law that carries a potential five-year prison sentence.

Print this article Back to Top