Twitter name @Israel sold by pornographer for six figures

Israel's Foreign Ministry splashes out on Twitter handle

Porn lord makes money off Israeli government

The Israeli government has reportedly paid a six-figure sum to a Spanish porn baron for the rights to the @Israel username for online social networking site Twitter.

Created in 2007 the Twitter account was set up by Israel Melendez, the Miami based Spanish owner of a number of pornographic websites but has lain relatively dormant in recent months after Mr Melendez received repeated anti-Israeli hate messages.

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Melendez who said: "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,” claims to have initially approached the Israeli government as a joke before eventually selling the username for a fee with “five-zeros”.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has denied paying such a hefty sum for the Twitter handle instead claiming to have forked out just $3,000 (£1,900) for the accounts password. The account has since been closed by the Israelis before their planned reopening as part of the multi-media PR push on improving the country's image overseas.

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Staff Writer on T3 Luke Johnson studied journalism at the Liverpool John Moores University and writes, news, opinion and interviews for the site. Topics of expertise include gaming, phones, photography, tablets and computing. Luke is a huge Apple fan, too, owning multiple Apple products and writing about iPhones and iPads frequently.