In Panama City Florida a local and respected teachers’ identity was used to create a fake Twitter profile which spouted off derogatory comments about autistic students. The teacher works with special needs students and had no idea this was going on until she was informed by officials questioning her and the profile.
Microsoft released an announcement today that as of March 3rd, 2011, they will no longer be making editorial investigations into “complaints about trademarks used as keywords to trigger ads on Bing & Yahoo! Search in the United States and Canada.” What this basically means is they are allowing anyone to bid on a trademarked term for PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, even if someone else owns the trademark on that term. They still, however, will investigate text within the ads (note their new “Investigations” policy).
It was recently reported that the state of Israel purchased the Twitter username @Israel from a private individual named Israel Meléndez for an undisclosed sum, which by some reports may be as much as six figures. You read that right – the Nation of Israel paid for a Twitter username from some guy that runs a porn site in Miami. He gave the prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu his password, and then they handed him a check.
September 13, 2010 | Barry Wise | Brand and Trademark Protection, Domain Names, Identity Theft, Online Reputation Management, Social Media
Comments Off on The New Threat of Typosquatting (Misspelled Brands) in Social Media
A recent tweet by Andrew Nystrom of RedBull brought attention to a growing trend we’ve noticed in Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook — that of Typosquatting. Typosquatting is a form of brandjacking/cybersquatting in which someone registers the misspelling of a brand or trademark term in an attempt to capture traffic from a legitimate well-known entity. In cases of social networks, this is done by using the misspelling of a username, such as in Justin Beiber’s case. The real @justinbieber has 5.2 million followers, but a misspelled dupe account of @justinbeiber (the i and e transposed) with zero tweets already has over 16,000 followers.
InformationWeek reports SB 1411, which has been approved by the California Senate and the Assembly and now awaits the signature of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, makes it a misdemeanor “to knowingly and without consent credibly impersonate another person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person.”
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.
Identity Theft isn’t just something that impacts your bank account or credit card. Your brand or trademark can be hijacked in social media and on the web as well, and we’ve seen it thousands of times here at KnowEm. Most recently, according to PCWorld, a hacker named Kirllos has offered up for sale 1.5 million Facebook user accounts.
Whole Foods Market is the victim of social media identity theft. CNET reports the grocery chain said it’s continuing to clamp down on a series of Facebook-based scams that entice users with a purported $500 gift card from the Austin, Texas-based supermarket chain.
Someone posing as another in any shape or form is an imposter. However today there are financial repercussions when someone poses as you, or if you are in business, posing as your brand. Most of us live lives where we have standards, morals and integrity, and we work to maintain our position and status in society.