Brands ‘faking it’ on Twitter
How yet more brands being compromised on Twitter is proving to be a good thing. . .
February 20, 2013 5:46 by M. Aldalou
As though having your social media account being hacked isn’t bad enough, other brands are now jumping on the bandwagon and ‘faking’ it. That’s right, after Jeep and Burger King’s Twitter accounts were infiltrated in the past few days, MTV and BET thought it would be a good idea to fake it and mislead followers into believing they’d been hacked as well. Burger King tweeted that it was sold to McDonald’s and Jeep tweeted it was bought by Cadillac; creating the safe assumption that both incidents were related.
In light of the ‘fake hacking, one can hardly help but question whether BK and Jeep did in fact fake it for publicity as well. Even if they did, at least they had the creativity to publish incoherent posts, whereas neither MTV nor BET had anything nearly as controversial or crude. It was almost like being hacked by an extremely polite gentleman. ‘We totally Catfish-ed you guys. Thanks for playing!<3 you, @BET,’ they tweeted when the jig was up.
The motive behind this, you ask? Kipp is no mind-reader, but the 30,000 followers and free publicity that both BK and Jeep have received sounds like a liable one, wouldn’t you agree?
Kippers, we must admit something. We had no idea this day would come, where being hacked could turn into the latest ‘cool trend’. I know you must be disappointed in us for not predicting this sooner, but in our defense, it’s always been the ‘hacker’ that’s edgy, mysterious and, dare we say, cool? We just never envisioned that being hacked – especially when faked – would ever catch on.
Now, let’s get to the bright side of this muddy situation. While we can shake our heads in bemusement at brands that would be willing to risk their reputation by pretending to have been digitally hi-jacked, we can hardly deny that it works. That’s the digital world, after all. You move fast, you capitalize on the hype and you get results. If a brand were to do this in a week or two, it would have almost certainly lost its gravitas by then.
All jokes aside, though, this pattern – especially if it continues for a third day this week – will raise some serious security issues with Twitter. Other social networks aren’t immune to hacking and all of the ‘create a strong password’ tips in the world wouldn’t necessarily deter attempts. Still, Twitter has yet to address the security issue and whether corporate (or verified) accounts should be given a two-step authentication process such as Google or Facebook.