A few days ago Matt Cutts of the Google Web Search Quality Team announced that Google is going to start factoring signals from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook in their search engine rankings and results. This marks a shift from a video Cutts made in May 2010 in which he reported Google was not looking at social results.
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.
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.
In the Intellectual Property world, few things matter as much as a name. Since the advent of the business name and the trademarked word, nothing has been used to identify quality and individuality more than a unique name. A unique name, as obvious as it sounds, is how people know to buy your product instead of something else.
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.
I wish I was exaggerating. But Google real time search will be the biggest online reputation management (ORM) nightmare of 2010. They make it so damned easy.
I’m going to show you how it works. This isn’t earth shattering. All the bad people out there have figured it out. But you need to know so you can defend yourself (somehow):
Whether you’re ready to embrace it or not, social media is changing the way we communicate and make decisions. Today’s technology has impacted our daily lives and routines in a big way. If you don’t wake up to Facebook, you probably know someone who does. And good luck trying to escape the world of Twitter – it’s even invaded the nightly news.