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Israel buys Twitter username for $3,000
Foreign Ministry confirms State recently acquired Twitter's '@israel' username from Spanish porn site owner; says 'We thought we could put it to better use than he did'

The State of Israel has recently acquired the user name @israel on Twitter from Israel Meléndez, the owner of a Spain-based pornographic website, the New York Times reported.

 

The unusual transaction intended to help Israel exercise more influence over its image.

 

Meléndez, told the paper that he got the name in 2007 and has since been struggling with it, as every posting prompted a torrent of anti-Semitic or anti-Israel comments from Twitter users.

 

“My account was basically unused because I was getting dozens of replies every day from people who thought the account belonged to the state of Israel,” he said.

 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor confirmed the purchase, saying "we thought we could put it to better use than he did."

 

Palmor added that the purchase was in line with Israel’s recent efforts to expand into social media.

 

The sale was finalized last month and Meléndez said the sale price - $3,000 – as “adequate.”

 

Israel then took over his Twitter account after first closing down the original version.

 

 

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