Twitter

The Ban on Talking in the Elevator at Goldman Sachs Can Finally Go Away

The Ban on Talking in the Elevator at Goldman Sachs Can Finally Go Away
Image credit: Shutterstock
Guest Writer
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The New York Times did what Goldman Sachs couldn’t, unmasking the man behind the notorious @GSElevator Twitter handle, an account that claimed to tweet snippets of uncensored conversations overhead in the firm’s elevators, epitomizing its reputation as an over-the-top, insensitive boys-club (highlights include "#1: Most girls cannot pull off their attitude. They need to either get hotter, or be nicer" and “On Valentine’s Day I send my wife flowers with a card that says ‘Congratulations.’”)

You can’t really blame Goldman Sachs for failing to sniff out the man behind the tweets, though. Turns out, he never worked there. He doesn’t even live in New York. The author is instead John Lefevre, a 34-year-old former bond executive who lives in Texas.

Related: After Hacks, Twitter Updates Sign-In Security

While many have long speculated that Lefevre was a fraud, it’s slightly unsettling how seriously Goldman Sachs took the Twitter account, which prompted an internal inquiry at the firm as well as a ban on speaking in elevators.

Do employees at Goldman Sachs actually talk like this?

Apparently, yes they do: Mr. Lefevre, who worked for Citigroup for seven years, told the Times that many of the tweets were true: “I’ve been collecting these stories for years.”

Ouch. Ultimately though, Lefevre’s charade may have stronger implications for Twitter than it does for Goldman Sachs, where public perception about its employees wasn’t that great to begin with. @GSElevator raises some thorny questions for the social media network, primarily the difference between a parody account (see @NotTildaSwinton) and an outright fake account.

While Twitter outlines guidlines for parody commentary and fan accounts on its website – account names, for example, “should not be the exact name of the account subject without some other distinguishing word, such as ‘not,’ ‘fake,’ or ‘fan’” – it’s not clear whether or not Lefevre’s @GSElevator broke the rules, creating a problematic grey area that the company has yet to address.

Related: What Not To Do: Lessons From 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Take a Look Back at Twitter's Earliest Incarnation