Israel Meléndez Sells @Israel Twitter Username For Six Figures

Posted Sep 15, 2010

Israel Meléndez has sold the @Israel Twitter user name for a six-figure sum. Back in 2007, Israel created a Twitter account under his name and this year he was approached by the state of Israel. The sale went through even though Twitter has a state policy of preventing username “squatting.”

Meléndez himself runs adult websites for a living. “All the business of getting in contact with Twitter was done by them [Israel],” stated Meléndez. “I never saw any emails [between them] and Twitter never contacted me, but if the @Israel account is open and working I imagine it means that Twitter had no problem with the transaction.”

Meléndez barely used the @Israel account, but he was sent a bunch of messages that criticized the Israeli government. It was until recent that he decided to look at the messages again and he found a message from Israel prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Meléndez negotiated the deal with Israel foreign ministry Chaim Shacham. “The negotiating lasted for two months but once everything was clear it was all simple. I went to the Israeli consulate in Miami and from there, by telephone, we closed the deal and the transaction.”

[Guardian UK]