A little over a year ago, we wrote about the issue of Twitter squatters
sitting on famous brand names, while the actual brands were totally unaware. In that post we wondered if there needed to be a "Twitter name dispute resolution policy." So far, there hasn't been much movement on that front, as the dispute resolution policy has basically been the benevolent dictatorship of some anonymous employees at Twitter, who may or may not step in to deal with such an issue in a unilateral fashion. So it's interesting to see this AdAge piece by a guy who decided to see what would happen if he became a Twitter squatter
. After looking through various brands he decided to pretend to be the Twitter representative for HJ Heinz, famous for its ketchup and pickles, among other things.
Basically, he set himself up to be @HJ_Heinz and started sending messages of a positive nature about Heinz. He started cultivating a following, watching for anyone who mentioned Heinz and also trying to connect with those in the Pittsburgh area (home of Heinz). It lasted all of two weeks until he logged in and found that his account name had been changed to @NOThj_Heinz, along with a note from Twitter saying that he had violated Twitter's rules. At least they let him keep the account.
What's interesting, though, is that it still took Heinz itself two weeks to notice the account and do something about it. Heinz provided AdAge with a statement in response to the article, which falsely suggests that the original account was "closed" (rather than just had its name changed). Still, the company claims it came across it via its "regular monitoring practices," but if you're just monitoring social networks, you're missing the point of them, which is to actively engage. If Heinz were actively making use of the tools it wouldn't have taken so long to notice the squatted account. Permalink
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