What BP has done isn’t funny. The Wall Street Journal reports a Twitter user with an account dubbed BPGlobalPR is posting satirical entries about the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — and already has more than twice as many followers as BP America’s actual account. I’m sure BP doesn’t think its “satirical” or funny. BP’s actions or lack thereof certainly deserve a lashing, and the public is responding in a number of ways. Social media identity theft appears to be one of them.
The tongue and cheek microblog authors are posting tweets such as “If we had a dollar for every complaint about this oil spill, it wouldn’t compare to our current fortune. Oil is a lucrative industry!” Which of course alarms any followers who don’t realize this is a spoofed account.
The fact that some people think its real speaks volumes about how vulnerable any company is from this type of impostor fraud. The fraudulent account demonstrates how difficult it is for companies to maintain a controlled online presence with the proliferation of social media. It’s the wild wild web out there and any company that sits idly waiting for someone to snap up their intellectual property or variations of their brand will face an oil spill of a time slopping up their damaged reputation.