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[Note: sometime Thursday (9/8) evening the owner of the twitter account in question changed his page drastically, and it no longer resembles the official Applebee’s twitter account in any way.]
There are tons of fake twitter accounts out there. Most of them exist as some kind of obvious parody of their subject, and many of them are quite funny. But last night I saw this tweet from an acquaintance of mine who’s a PR pro.
I went over to the supposed Applebees twitter stream, thinking that they must have been hacked. There were tweets like this
Lovely. It looked for all the world like it was real. But then I noticed something in the url:
The lowercase “L” in Applebees was actually a capital “i.” Because of the font used on twitter’s pages, it looked correct, except in the url. Then I went to the actual Applebee’s twitter page. Except for the little “official” blue checkmark, and the number of followers, the fake one could easily be mistaken for the real one by just about anybody.
Real Applebee’s page:
Fake Applebee’s page:
I think it goes beyond what should be permissible on twitter. It’s similar to how a Bill Clinton impersonator is allowed to do commercials for a used car dealership, as long as it’s over-the-top obvious that it’s not really Bill Clinton selling used cars, but you can’t try to trick the public into thinking that the former president is endorsing something he’s not.
I wonder if the PR people who handle Applebee’s twitter account have seen it? And if they have, is there even anything they can do about it?
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.