On Friday morning, the guy everyone thinks is @CondeElevator offered a response to his accusers. "Consider this my first and last word on the subject," wrote John Jannuzzi at Lucky Magazine, where he's a style editor. "I am not @CondeElevator."
We'll take that as his last word on Jannuzzi, but he had more to say on Thursday when the accusations started flying his way. "This is getting fucking ridiculous," he said on Twitter not long after The Daily Beast and SheFinds.com attempted to out him as the guy behind the New York media world's favorite social media fixation ever of this week. And quite frankly, Jannuzzi has a point. A couple hours after he denied any affiliation, a second @CondeElevator account started. "To @CondeElevator Girl or Guy #1 and #2 [in elevator together]: Let me take over for you, we both love our jobs! #YourWelcome," reads the first tweet.
The @CondeElevator account got popular at first for offering very funny peek into the magazine publisher's over the top culture. But the media coverage surged when Condé Nast hinted at trying to track down the employee behind the account. Everybody called it a witch hunt. We compared the event to the company's history of ruthless crackdowns on leaking the goings-on inside Condé Nast's headquarters. The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that the anxiety was mounting at 4 Times Square over this incident too:
Though the witch hunt is on for the author, it's unlikely he or she will come out of the woodwork. There’s nothing on the feed that could potentially constitute rule breaking, but because of the company’s tight-lipped corporate culture, it seems like something that could get an employee in a lot of hot water. "I'm waiting for the day someone gets fired because of it," an employee told The Daily Beast.
It turns out this was never the case. "There was no concern, and there was no witch hunt," Condé Nast's senior vice president for corporate communications Patricia Steele told Women's Wear Daily.
Nevertheless, the non-witch hunt for the tweeter behind @CondeElevator has made international headlines. In the span of a week, the @CondeElevator twitter account attracted nearly 70,000 followers. (As a point of comparison, Lucky has been around for years and has only 76,000.) The account has spawned a growing number of spinoff accounts. Hearst and Goldman Sachs have Twitter accounts for their elevators now--The New York Times has one for its fridge. None of them have picked up more than a thousand followers, and the Goldman Sachs tweeter has already granted an interview to The New York Times.
It remains to be seen if the new media company elevator Twitter meme can survive without the notion of someone getting fired for running one. Or maybe, as the term suggests, the meme will fade from our memories. The New York Observer's Kat Stoeffel hopes so. "Can we just skip all the speculation and witch hunting and inaccurate 'outing' and get back to work now?" she begged on Friday.