Spain shoeshine man gifts prized Twitter accounts

2015-02-16 21:14
(Jorge Guerrero, AFP)

(Jorge Guerrero, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Madrid - Authorities in Brazil have got hold of a valuable Twitter account to publicise next year's Rio Olympics, after a humble Spanish shoeshine man surrendered the rights to it for free.

Javier Castano, 50, handed over the password for the Twitter name @riodejaneiro to Rio de Janeiro city hall - and said on Monday he now wants to do the same with the handle @japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Castano registered several key Twitter account names in 2007, when the online social network was in its early days.

He said he spent years sending messages to Rio city hall offering them the account. It said it has now finally replied to him and formally accepted.

"We are very happy to at last be able to use the name of our city on the social network," said Rio's tourism secretary Antonio Pedro Figueira Mello in a statement.

"This will be of great value now that we are getting closer to the Olympics."

Castano was formerly a graphic designer but saw work dry up in Spain's recent economic crisis. He now earns about €30 a day shining shoes in the street in Malaga, southern Spain.

He insisted on giving the Twitter accounts only to the legitimate representatives of the Olympic host cities, for free.

"I am a shoeshine man with not much money, but I have the privilege of being able to give a gift to 130 million Japanese people or eight million people in Rio," he told AFP. "Could you do that?"

Castano has already handed over @canada and @madrid to authorities in those places, by sending them the passwords to the accounts once they formally accepted and confirmed their identity.

"I am very happy now. My only remaining task is to hand over @japan," he said.

Japanese government officials however said they had never heard of Castano and voiced reservations about accepting Twitter accounts from private individuals.

"There is no discussion, as far as I know, about setting up new accounts," said an official who helps publish tweets for the Japanese prime minister's office.

Read more on:    spain  |  social networks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.