The strange affair of the London MAyor Twitter account may be settled for now, but it has opened a new question in the world of municipal social media: Who owns the name?

The case arises from a situation in London, England, where the mayor is running for re-election. He, or someone from his campaign, renamed the official and confirmed Twitter handled @MayorofLondon to @BackBoris2012. The move angered some who said that the Twitter account is owned by the city and should not have been used for campaign communications.

When the switch, called a “hijacking” occurred, it transferred the city’s 253,000 followers to Boris Johnson’s re-election campaign.

There are no specific rules at this time as to the online branding or re-branding of Twitter Accounts. And according to some intellectual property attorneys, because the nature of the tweets from @MayorofLondon were from the mayor himself, he may actually have rights to the account, not the city.

Whatever the case is, Johnson turned the account back over to the city but has ordered it be dormant for now. @BackBoris2012 had more than 4,500 followers.

From the BBC UK:

Labour have made an official complaint after Boris Johnson transferred the Mayor of London Twitter account into his name.

The account now links to the Back Boris 2012 website instead of the City Hall website,, as before.

The move – on the first official day of the mayoral election campaign – means the account’s 253,000 followers have also migrated to Mr Johnson.

Read the full article here.