Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fake political twitter sites

Some clever idiot has created a whole host of fake political Twitter sites. Twitter is a microblogging and social networking site. The fake sites include @NationalParty, @NZFirst, @EPMU, @NZGreenParty, @NZUnitedFuture, @FamilyFirst and @NZPolitics. There are about 24 sites that have been created. The National Party's one is here and you can access the rest from that page.

All carry news links to stories from Voxy, and nothing else, and all sites follow each other. Some people have been sucked in to following them and are getting hit with all the relevant Voxy stories.

I have reported them all as Spam. Looks like all have been created by the same person. I wonder if it is someone from Voxy that is doing this? Both the Greens and the National Party have legitimate sites on Twitter, The Nats are @NZNationalParty and the Green Party is at @NZGreens.




Blogger MattNZ said...

Seems like a really big call to call those accounts spam. They provide news directly relevant to the named organisations....hardly a matter of sucking people in.

Rather useful I would have thought.

February 23, 2009 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

Of course, Matt, if someone was using your email address and a website under your name to provide news "directly relevant to your organisation" that would be fine too?

February 23, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger MattNZ said...

I think the point is that the names used are descriptive of the content provided. It makes sense to call a feed @nationalparty if the content provided all relates to the National Party. It's just an (opt-in) subject specific news feed -- very useful to some.

Also -- it seems clear that there is no attempt at 'passing off' in this case. ie: no party logo, no statement suggesting the feed is run by the party, no link to the party website.

To answer your question more specifically -- of course that would be ok. If it's news about my organisation then it's no different than setting up a Google Alert or subscribing to a media monitoring service.

Here we are talking about a service that is: opt-in, where no attempt is made at passing off, providing content directly relevant to the topic being promoted -- that doesn't fit any definition of spam i've ever heard of.

February 24, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Swimming said...

Matt, thx, that makes your position clearer, yes, I can see your point now, and it is a fair one to make. But there is a legitimate National party twitter site and some people who follow the other one may think this other one is run by the National party and get "sucked in" to following it, when they`d rather follow the one run by the Party itself. And as for the two Helen Clark twitter pages, any tweets from these sites are closer to spam than passing content relevant to Helen Clark, who, herself does not Twitter..

February 24, 2009 at 9:39 AM  

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