The BBC has fallen foul of ‘Twitter Squatting’, with a non-BBC user using www.twitter.com/BBC since around October 2008.
A little later he received a reply which read: “@sputnik101 so are you :p“.’
Screenshots and more details are also at Native
The account has now been handed over to the BBC team officially, but it’s quite surprising that an organisation that has several Twitter accounts and employees using Twitter didn’t think to check their main brand name.
Having said that, @thewhitehouse is an unofficial Twitterfeed which could easily be mistaken for an official channel.
What makes it slightly frustrating is the fact that this isn’t exactly new.
Way back in August 2008, it was revealed at the @ExxonMobileCorp account was a fake.
And even those unfamiliar with Twitter must be vaguely aware of Cybersquatting/Domain Squatting, which has been happening for at least a decade.
You don’t have to actively engage in Twitter to protect your name – just set up a profile with bio information explaining it’s a holding page. And I’m not saying you have to do it to protect your name – I’m saying you have to do it to protect the people that will be at risk by fakes.