@BurgerKing got hacked – but kept their verified tick…

Earlier today the @BurgerKing twitter account got hacked – possibly by online hacking pranksters “anonymous” – and started to tweet rather “off message” stuff (starting by saying the chain had been sold to McDonalds).

Burgerking's Twitter banner - post hacking

Burgerking’s Twitter banner – post hacking

See an abridged storify of what happened.

See a full version (includes crude language).

While on the surface it looks like a simple “guess the password and prank away” (the rumour is the password was whopper123) I wondered if there might be something a bit stranger happening here…

I am lucky enough to work for an organisation with a verified account:

The warnings you see on a verified twitter account

The warnings you see on a verified twitter account

As you can see they are very big on the warnings not to change certain aspects of the account – as you will lose the verified tick. I wondered if there was something more suspect going on here at Twitter’s end:

I would have sworn at the time that the “real name” was one of the fields you are not allowed to change. I had a vague memory of doing it for the account I manage (even just changing lower case letters to upper case) and losing the tick.

Having looked into it further, I can’t find any reference to this anywhere – so one of three things has happened:

  1. I was wrong about changing a real name leading to a loss of verification tick – and I am misremembering the dark day when we lost the tick
  2. Or the real name change no longer leads to verification loss – but it did once (on the dark day!)
  3. Or I was right that something more sinister happened in the BurgerKing case and the reverification tick was restored, despite the change in real name.

Applying Occams razor suggests it was the first option – but I can’t find conclusive proof anywhere. Anyone else know how much of a verified account you can change before you lose the tick?

3 comments to @BurgerKing got hacked – but kept their verified tick…

  • I’m definitely against hacking a Twitter account or any account at all, but I must admit that it’s a bit funny. Anyway, aren’t all fast-food companies basically all the same?

  • Andrew

    I have to admit to smiling when I saw it. I think the impact was greater because it was done on a US national holiday (Presidents day) so there may have been no one in the office to spot the problem.
    It also highlights for me the problems that 24h social media causes for a brand – if your account is hacked at 2 am, or on a weekend or public holiday…who is going to spot it?

  • Andrew

    Interestingly, when the account was restored the following day (twitter had suspended the account) it had lost the verified tick!

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