Twitter Busted Using Fake Tweets From Real Users To Promote New TV Ad Targeting

    July 24, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Back in May, Twitter announced its new TV ad targeting capabilities for advertisers. On Tuesday, the offering officially left beta as Twitter announced general availability in the U.S., along with some new analytics to go with it.

This is an image of the dashboard that Twitter shared in its announcement:

Twitter analytics

Twitter used three tweets from users in the image to show the effectiveness of its offering. As you can see, those tweets were:

@subhash_tewari: The @baristabar ad is giving e the coffee shakes. Looks so good!

@WilliamMazeo: I wish I could make fancy lattes like in the @baristabar commercial

@Neil_Gottlieb: What is the song in the new @baristabar commercial? I love it!

Okay, just regular Twitter users talking about a commercial right? Wrong.

They are regular Twitter users, but as Jeff Elder at SF Gate discovered with a little digging, they tweeted no such things, and Twitter had to apologize to them and change the image once the users found out Twitter was putting words in their mouths to promote their new product.

@subhash_tewari doesn’t appear to have been on Twitter for a couple days, so nothing so far from that account.

Twitter has replaced the image with this:

Twitter Image replacement

All the people in the new version work at Twitter. Hmm. Not quite as convincing.

  • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk A Morris

    Well this is obviously a real mess up by Twitter – even an idiot should know not to do this with social media! Leave the public out of it. It would have been far wiser to just make some fake accounts up, like with how old movie posters used to. “Fantastic” when the review actually read, “Fantastic this film is not!” Or some such guff.

  • Jacs

    Well, if they had just asked me, I’d have tweeted an ad for them … for a small fee of course 😉

    • http://www.rankwatch.com Rank Watch

      This is reidiculous by Twitter. These things should not even happen accidentally, this is not only surprising and disgusting feeling for an user but also breaching of their personal privacy by Twitter.

  • http://www.oneims.com Solomon

    You’d think that a social company like Twitter would know better than usurp the identity of their users. Users beware – you never know what you’ll say next!

    I agree with A Morris. It’d be pretty easy for them to come up with some fake accounts they could use to do this.