Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you're not entitled to faking someone's opinions. That's exactly what Twitter admitted to doing this week when they faked real user tweets to promote their new product, Amplify.
Amplify is billed as a new way for media brands and advertisers to re-promote TV adverts on Twitter. Twitter released a blog post earlier this week detailing this new product, and with it, they included fake tweets that implied that users were responding positively to ad spots.
“What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!” one of the bogus tweets read, from real-life user @Neil_Gottlieb.
“I wish I could make fancy lattes like in the @barristabar commercial," another fake tweet read, this time from user @WilliamMazeo. A third user, @subhash_tewari, was also included in the fake tweets.
SFGate discovered that these tweets were indeed made-up, and contacted the three users, who had no idea they were being used to push a product. Once word got out, Twitter publically apologized through their Twitter Advertising account, and attributed the mistake to "confusion":
@TwitterAds -_-" don't do this again.— William Mazeo (@WilliamMazeo) July 23, 2013
Twitter removed the fake tweets from their post and issued another apology: "An earlier version of this blog post included an image with mock Tweets from real users of our platform. This was not OK. Once we became aware of this mistake we took it down immediately. We deeply apologize to the three users included in the earlier images."
Gottlieb has reportedly contacted an attorney.