Sadly, several celebrities have died in the past week. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mayes. Social media has nearly taken the Internet down, breaking news, sharing personal stories and spreading their own thoughts and feelings regarding these tragedies. So why would someone take advantage of the morbid trend by hacking into a celebrity Twitter account and reporting that they too have passed away?
In light of the untimely deaths of so many celebrities in such a short period of time, it’s just creepy and unnecessary for a hacker to break into Brittney Spears’ Twitter account and spread rumors that she is dead. The hacker even went so far as to us the pop singer’s twitpic account for effect. While Spears has since updated her Twitter account and Twitter itself says it’s working on the particular vulnerability that allowed the twitpic hack, one has to wonder at the thought process behind such a hack.
I know the regular celebrity death rumors get spread around the Internet every so often. Earlier this year there was talk of teenage icon Miley Cirus turning up dead. But this most recent hack into Spears’ account is especially insensitive and a Twitter user should never stoop so low for driving traffic, pulling a publicity stunt or merely gaining attention. The hack diminishes the purpose and value of a communication tool such as Twitter, along with the community composition that goes along with the microblogging platform.
With this being said, I urge you to remember what Twitter is made for and how it’s best used. There are plenty of ways to generate traffic and attention on Twitter without completely misusing the Twitter system and taking advantage of its community. From hashtags to joining in n the discussion of the hack itself, you can maintain a healthy web presence and still build your brand using social media tools.