Israel buys pornographer's Twitter account

The state of Israel has paid a pornographer an undisclosed sum to get him to hand over his Twitter account.

Israel Meléndez acquired the Twitter name @israel back in 2007, but found using the account problematic: every time he tweeted, a political debate ensued.

"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,” Mr. Meléndez was reported by the New York Times as saying.

According to the Spanish newspaper Publico, Meléndez is involved in the adult end of the Internet business.

He described the profits from the deal with Israeli government negotiators as "adequate".

The Twitter feed now sports the bio: "Official twitter page of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, maintained by Chaim Shacham, Director of the Foreign Ministry's Information & Internet Department." It has 5,870 followers.