Over the years the internet has become another media platform that survives financially through promoting various products, tv shows, and films.
Visit your favorite clothing site and then cruise over to Facebook. Odds are you’ll see an advertisement to the far left promoting a clothing store you like and certain sales you need to take advantage of. The frustration of enduring advertisements has entered the realm of the internet. An eye roll may induce when someone wants to listen to a new Jay Z song because they first have to sit through Wendy – The Progressive Car Insurance Lady.
But what happens when a social network exploits their user’s privacy in order to promote a product? Recently, Twitter apologized for faking tweets from real users for a mock-up promoting an ad platform. These fake tweets depicted users talking positively about TV advertisements. As SFGate’s website explains “The blog post promoted new Twitter Ads integration with tv commercials”.
These tweets look very real, however, users whose image and screen name were used soon spoke out.
These users were not informed that their profile pics and accounts were being presented in a post on Twitter’s blog – sent out to large amounts of users via @Twitterads Twitter account and re-tweeted to more than 1.5 million.
Neil Gottlieb replied “It’s disturbing and has no place” when referring to a Twitter blog post that featured a tweet of him saying “What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!”. Gottlieb who is in charge of the medical animation company 3FX in Philadelphia continued and said “To use my image and fake a tweet is wrong and needs to be addressed.”
Gottlieb is right. Taking users account information and using it to advertise products is a violation of privacy. If advertising like this becomes more popular and acceptable how long will it be before companies and other institutions are able to use users account information in order to state views that are not the user’s own.