Report: Twitter Squatters are the Ire of Hyundai, GM and Volkswagen

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I’ve got to say, this story strikes home with me; I’ve been repeatedly ignored by Twitter’s “customer service” every time I’ve tried to engage them about parked twitter handles. Now it appears that some major auto manufacturers are considering legal action to get Twitter to deal with username squatters in an attempt to protect their brand names.

Just this morning, a report surfaced on Automotive News (subs. req’d) suggesting that Hyundai was so frustrated with Twitter’s lack of response to their repeated requests to deal with the the parked @hyundai twitter handle that they were on the verge of taking legal action. The article pointed out that @hyundai was full of random tweets and links to pictures of scantily clad women.

Apparently Twitter got wind of the article and quickly dealt with that particular situation; as of now the @hyundai page is listed as being suspended. So, hurrah Twitter. Way to only deal with a situation when you’re absolutely forced to! The problem still remains: as Twitter becomes more and more a part of mainstream life, parked username are a growing concern for both corporations with a brand name to protect as well as other legitimate tweeters.

For instance, if you look at @volkswagen (as of right now), there are a few random posts in spanish and one boldly put question in broken english, “do you want to buy this rwitter user ID?” And @generalmotors has absolutely no updates. Same with @nissan. The list goes on and on.

In fact, according to Automotive News, major companies not having control over their Twitter handle is the norm rather than the exception. While Twitter has granted special status to celebrities like Oprah and Ashton, companies and marketers haven’t been given nearly that level of attention. If Twitter is going to open their service to more and more marketing and branding (as it seems they are willing to do), they need to do it equally across the board.

Twitter insists that it is working to solve the problem, but that, essentially, they get more requests than they are capable of dealing with. “We understand brands’ frustration when it comes to account verification. We are working on ways to make the process easier and faster,” said Anamitra Banerji Twitter’s head of commercial products in an Automotive News article (subs. req’d). “Given the volume of requests we receive, sometimes it might take a little while to close requests, but we are trying to improve that too.”

In the past Twitter has suggested it is working on a system that would provide special access to companies and marketers—Twitter Pro. Until then, some companies have come up with workarounds that include making multiple focused accounts such as @vwcares or @nissanevs. What do you think? Is it right for brands and companies to insist on having special treatment?

Source: Automotive News (subs. req’d)

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.