A small social media mistake

Over the weekend, Andrew Cuomo was sworn in as the next Governor of New York. Immediately, the Governor’s page of the state website was changed to reflect the new administration. Happily, it looks like Governor Cuomo will be using social media, as there were links to Facebook, Twitter, RSS and Flickr. Unfortunately, no one from the Governor’s office thought it might be a good idea to register the twitter account it was linking to.

As the New York Times reported, early Sunday morning a well intentioned prankster discovered the fact that the twitter account @NYGovernor was not registered, registered it, and then began tweeting. While the account picked up a few hundred followers in a relatively short time, it quickly became apparent that the account was not being run from someone inside the Government. The Governor’s office was alerted to their mistake a few hours later. They registered a different twitter profile, @nygovcuomo, and changed the link on the website.

In the future, government officials should be more careful about associating with unregistered accounts, as such associations are tantamount to a verification that the social media in questions is coming from the official.

Interestingly, Alex Howard at O’Reilly pointed out today that under a new law in California that went into effect over the weekend, it’s now against the law to impersonate a government official online.

Full Disclosure: GovSM was hoodwinked by the fake account, if only temporarily 🙂

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