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Fox News Twitter Hack Lessons

July 7, 2011 | By | No Comments

The tweets were, to say the least, disturbing. Early on July 4th, hackers used the Fox News Politics Twitter account to falsely report that President Obama had been assassinated. The fake posts were preceded by tweets that indicated the account had been hacked by a group called Scriptkiddies. The tweets have since been removed from the account, but not before they had been retweeted. The social media hack also prompted a Secret Service investigation.

It’s true that most of our organizations aren’t of the high-profile type to garner the attention of Twitter hackers. But the false tweets underscore important points for brands with a social media strategy:

  • Social media strategy needs a crisis plan. You know what to do if there’s a fire in your office (hopefully!). What happens if your company is hit with social media fire? It could come from hackers or from a social media team member who accidentally tweets something embarrassing from the company account. A plan gives your company the tools to protect its online reputation.
  • Online listening is the first line of defense. Social media monitoring will let you hear the whispers before they turn into roars. A broad online listening platform will alert you to negative news reports, blogger reviews, and other new media content so you can react swiftly and decisively in the face of an impending crisis.

Don’t let negative social media content bark you up a tree! Start incorporating processes into social media strategy so you can handle crises.

For more details on the Fox hack, check out Stan Schroeder’s report on Mashable.

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