One downside of social media is when your company gets brand-jacked. In other words, if someone “adoring” fan decides to set up a Facebook Page or a Twitter account on behalf of your company and then proceeds to make false announcements, pretending to be an official spokesperson for the company or individual. That’s exactly what happened to Royston Drenthe, a Real Madrid soccer player, when his unofficial Facebook page announced he was going to Liverpool Fc.
The fake Royston Drenthe Facebook page (found here) posted the following update: “I will soon be joining Liverpool Fc. Hope I will have a good season there :)” It attracted a ton of comments from the fans of the page, many of which recognized that the page was fake. However that didn’t prevent a number of sports sites from picking up the news, prior to the sport star’s agent confirming that it was indeed a hoax.
Perhaps this new type of brand-jacking, is exactly why Twitter launched their “Verified Account” service. It prevents companies from becoming the unwilling victim of an ugly brand-jacking attack. Fortunately the rumors were debunked quickly, however the fake Facebook Page still remains. I’m assuming it won’t be around for too much longer.
The fake Royston Drenthe Facebook Page was instantly shut down following the publishing of this article.