Tony La Russa Sues Twitter Over Imposter's Page

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has sued Twitter claiming that the microblogging site refused to take down an imposter's page that contained "derogatory and demeaning" remarks.

The suit alleges trademark infringement, cyber-squatting and misappropriation of likeness and name, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bird Land blog. Two Wall Street Journal blogs, Digits and Venture Capital Dispatch, also covered the suit filed in San Francisco superior court on May 6.

The fake Tony La Russa page carried his photo and included vulgar references to two Cardinals pitchers who died. The suit claims Twitter carried messages that said "Tony LaRussa is using Twitter," leading to the implication that he was the author of the fake page.

Twitter posts a policy that says parody impersonation accounts are allowed as long as it is obvious that the profile is fake. However, impersonations may be removed if they aren't clearly a joke. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told Digits that the company doesn't actively search for impersonators, but it is developing tools to identify legitimate celebrity and trademark owners. It is also adding staff to respond more quickly to customer concerns.

La Russa's lawyer, Gregory McCoy, told Digits that he was in settlement talks with Twitter. La Russa, who has a law degree from Florida State University, wants to be compensated for the cost of filing the suit. There is also some talk about Twitter making a contribution to La Russa's animal rescue foundation.

La Russa isn't the only high-profile person whose identity has been hijacked on Twitter. A prankster created a fake Twitter page for Attorney General Eric Holder. One of the posts read: "Back from gitmo lol. They have a McDonalds and a BK and a KFC and surfing. Don't know why anyone would want to leave."