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Nasty little Twitterbuggers

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I manage several Twitter accounts for clients and during the last week have seen a number of messages from other Twitter users inviting me to click on a link to 'see what nasty things people are saying about you'. In some cases, the wording is 'nasy things people are saying about you'. If you are a Twitter user and receive one of these messages, even from a very trusted source, do not, under any circumstances, click on it. It's a hacker virus, and your account will be compromised if your firewall doesn't stop the link activating. You will need to change your Twitter password immediately. Because of the very viral nature of Twitter this virus spreads like wildfire, and even reporting to Twitter the person who sent it to you will probably be useless, unless you are in direct contact with the original hacker. Or ARE the original hacker. Be vigilant. Don't click on any links that sound a bit dodgy or don't sound like the real voice of regular and trusted contacts. Happy tweeting!

Social Media’s instant impact on Qantas

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Qantas' A380 emergency a few days ago has tarnished the brand's image, and the impact of social media and its instantaneous ability to spread good or bad news has played a part in that. Simon Canning writes in today's Australian that "The challenge to the airline has been further amplified by the emergence of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. "Within minutes of word escaping that there had been a problem with a Qantas jet bound from Singapore to Sydney, Twitter was alive with reports the jet had crashed. "In the past, such misinformation used to arrive in a newsroom and await confirmation before being broadcast to the world. However, this time Twitter followers for several minutes retweeted unconfirmed news of the crash and shares in the airline plunged briefly before its was clarified that the plane had in fact landed safely in Singapore. "By then, photos of the cowling were making their way across the world and pictures from the airport confirmed the wreckage was from the jet, with every tweet and image eroding faith in the Qantas brand. "Qantas's brand is now much like the crippled A380: damaged and grounded, but far from out of service." Doesn't this make you think about the power of social media and what it can do to your brand? That little line above about share prices dropping immediately after the tweets about the aircraft crashing are as chilling as the notion that the A380 actually fell from the sky. Social media isn't going to go away; it's getting bigger by the minute and is now, really, another arm of mainstream media. We can all be reporters. But reporting misinformation like the "crash" via social media channels can have a grave impact on organisations and the people that run them. When you use social media services, remember the information stays out there forever. Get your facts right before you put finger to keyboard. You could severely damage someone's reputation. Depending on the situation that someone could be you.