Friday, August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am.

Food Network’s Alton Brown: Why I left Twitter

Food Network host Alton Brown, who seemed to be having a ball on Twitter just a few weeks ago and has since vanished:

I didn’t leave Twitter because my wife started tweeting. I left Twitter because a parasitic troll fraudulently posing as my wife started tweeting. It even used a photo of my family as its avatar.

The way I see it, Twitter is like a big cocktail party. If I was at a cocktail party and someone puked on my wife’s shoes, odds are excellent that we’d leave. Does that mean I won’t attend any more cocktail parties? Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just have to figure out a way to host my own cocktail parties where people have to actually be accountable for their behavior.

I see how this could be annoying and irritating to someone, especially a brainiac-type like Brown, who has worked hard to build his celebrity but probably isn’t exploited as often as Hollywood starlets.

But this sort of stuff is typical for the Internet — especially Twitter, where parody accounts are routine, often vicious, and sometimes even funny. And it seems that Twitter should be able to deal with any real problems quickly.

I’d have to think the benefits of Twitter outweigh the occasional, temporary nuisance, but that’s obviously a personal decision for everyone to make on their own.

Also: The benefits and costs of running your own Twitter photo server