Experience the drunken party scene in Columbia’s Five Points
The popular social media account Drinking Ticket, which caters to the Five Points party scene, will not sue a parody Twitter account despite threats, an attorney said Thursday.
Drinking Ticket, though not officially affiliated with the University of South Carolina, usually tweets about campus news and drink specials in the student-heavy Five Points neighborhood.
French Drinking Ticket, a riff on the now-defunct French Elon Musk Twitter account, lampooned Drinking Ticket by doctoring pictures of account owner Alex Waelde holding baguettes and wearing berets and punctuating tweets with the catchphrase “hon hon hon.”
“In looking at the parody account, there was never going to be any legal action as long as it remained a parody account,” said Robert Rikard, a Columbia attorney who represents Waelde. “The only issue that would be discussed and will be discussed is the use of trademarks.”
Rikard said Waelde may reconsider a lawsuit if French Drinking Ticket “crosses into defamatory or libelous” behavior. As of 1 p.m. Thursday, French Drinking Ticket changed its logo.
USC senior Regan Freeman said he created the parody account in response to Drinking Ticket tweeting out unverified information and posting the location of DUI checkpoints and SLED agents cracking down on underage drinking.
“I got tired of him tweeting wrong information,” Freeman said. “I think he’s a bad actor, if you will, so I made fun of him.”
Even if Waelde were to sue, Freeman said he would keep the account online.
“He can come and try to take it,” Freeman said of the parody account. “Because I’m not backing down.”
With nearly 80,000 Twitter followers, Drinking Ticket and its owner Waelde, 28, have become a local institution since the account was opened in 2011. Waelde, who used to own several Five Points bars but now works in real estate, has stirred controversy among students and recent graduates, especially for tweeting the locations of SLED officers and DUI checkpoints.
“The overall attitude of the account is rules are for chumps,” said Davis Hagood, who graduated in May. “They act like the the cops are out to get you rather than to protect you.”
The parody account, founded Sept. 10, has already attracted more than 4,000 followers. The account’s most popular tweets are retweeted hundreds of times and “liked” over a thousand times — which is similar to the popularity gathered by tweets from the actual Drinking Ticket account.
“For the most part, the everyday actions of Drinking Ticket are well-intentioned,” said Brooke Strozdas, who graduated with a degree in advertising in May. “I just think they need to better understand the information they’re putting out and the harm it could be causing.”