MTV and BET just fooled us all, and I’m not sure if it was funny, stupid or scary.
But as both accounts began retweeting followers who were freaking out about the hacks, there was something a little fishy.
Just minutes before the initial “hacked” Tweets, BET social media manager J.P. Lespinasse Tweeted — then deleted the Tweet— that he was “’bout to have some fun on social w/ @mtv + @bet s/o to @kionsanders cc: @adamostrow”
— Ian Kar (@iankar_) February 19, 2013
Then after an hour and eight more “hacked” Tweets, MTV admitted its joke while improperly using the term “Catfishing“:
As did BET:
Maybe the folks at BET and MTV enjoyed a couple chuckles and a few more followers because of this stunt, but in reality, this is a serious problem for Twitter and for the journalists who rely on the social network more and more everyday as a news source.
We don't want to live in a world where we have to ask if hack is real or not. Twitter needs to fix this http://t.co/YJcL4Nxa
— Craig Kanalley (@ckanal) February 19, 2013
Some, including Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa, want Twitter to implement a 2-step verification process, similar to what Google has.
Two step authentication would make it pretty difficult to hack @BurgerKing or anyone else
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) February 18, 2013
Whatever the solution, it needs to come soon. Hacking social media accounts and pretending to be something you’re not is a serious problem — just look at what Notre Dame football star Manti T’eo, companies like Burger King and the 250,000 other infiltrated Twitter accounts have had to deal with.
And couldn’t MTV learn from its past? They tried a similar fake hack stunt in 1998 and it backfired.