NY Comic Con Hijacks Attendees' Twitter Accounts, Issues Non-Apology Apology

from the super-villain dept

If anyone knows how to be polite, genteel, and appropriate, it’s certainly me. That falsehood said, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep up on what’s considered polite and what isn’t in this digital world. Still, one can try to keep up. So, after much trial and error, I now know it is not okay to take a dinner companion’s phone when he’s in the bathroom and use his Facebook app to vicariously profess his love for a mutual friend’s wife. Likewise, thou shalt not turn absent co-workers’ desktop backgrounds to photoshopped images of Martha Stewart’s head on Hitler’s body. You just don’t do those things.

But even I don’t require any practice to know that I shouldn’t hijack my customers’ Twitter accounts without their knowledge to pimp my own wares. Yet it seems this seemingly low-level of comprehension eluded the New York Comic Convention.

Fans, celebrities and press attending New York Comic Con on Thursday sent out laudatory tweets expressing excitement to be at the annual convention — or at least it looked like they did, as the tweets were published entirely without their permission or knowledge.

The tweets were tied to attendees’ NYCC badges. This year, conference organizers Reedpop allowed people to pre-register their badges online. The badges have radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that are tied to a user’s identity in order to curb counterfeits. Attendees were then invited to connect their social-media accounts to their badge, although it wasn’t explicitly stated that NYCC could post to Facebook or Twitter on their behalf. As people checked in to the convention on Thursday, many published tweets looked authentic (and were written in conversational language), but were not written by attendees.

Those tweets were basically ecstatic exclamations about how great the NYCC is, how excited the tweeter was about attending certain functions therein, and ostensibly about how the NYCC had simultaneously cured cancer and ended global terrorism as we know it. The point is that attendees, who may or may not have been as excited as their hijacked Twitter accounts suggested, weren’t exactly pleased to find themselves being turned into ventriloquist dummies by the convention. Many of those same Twitter accounts that had been hijacked were suddenly tweeting back to the convention’s Twitter account with angry complaints. As a result, the NYCC issued this statement:

As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered. This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep. Please accept our apologies and have an absolutely excellent time this weekend. -Your friends at NYCC

Allow me to translate this for you: “Since you didn’t magically understand that this opt-in service doesn’t involve us informing you of exactly what you’re opting into, please accept our sardonic and barely sincere apology and just go read some comics or whatever.” When the entire premise of your “apology” is a lie (it isn’t opt-in when you hide what is being opted into), it loses the moniker of apology and will instead be identified as bullshit. Pretty ballsy when you consider that the convention goers, celebrity attendees, and those actually buying booths at the convention encompass approximately all your customers. Enjoy the publicity, NYCC!

Filed Under: ,
Companies: ny comic con, nycc, twitter

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “NY Comic Con Hijacks Attendees' Twitter Accounts, Issues Non-Apology Apology”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guysays:


It’s simple enough, they don’t see any problems with what they did(probably because their twitter accounts weren’t hijacked to promote something), so they can’t imagine why anyone else would consider their actions ‘over the line’.

Love this part of their excuse too: ‘This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC.’

The ‘good word’ apparently being that those people who had connected their badges with their twitter accounts had, like it or not, known it or not, given the go-ahead to be turned into walking advertisements for the event, a tidbit of information I’m guessing they were less than upfront about when they suggesting the linking.

So they were so excited about how great NYCC was, that they couldn’t be bothered to tell those attending that they were going to forcefully use other people’s twitter accounts to say just how ‘exciting’ the event was. As far as excuses go, that one doesn’t even pass the laugh test.


…maybe it’s a problem with how we handle permissions in applications and online accounts?

…oh yes, before you may use this application… you must allow us to have total control of your phone and all of your online accounts… GEH HEH HEH…

…makes one wonder why AT&T’s android application needs harbinger level access to view your bill…

…we are assuming direct control! LOL!



The way I’m reading this is that people connected their accounts but were unhappy about the way this was used. Most places that post on your wall/tweet for you are good about making it clear that it’s an automated message or otherwise something you didn’t personally write, so people tend to allow things.

So, they would have allowed the connection when they first signed up, but didn’t realise they’d be used to spam followers with fake messages purporting to be directly from them.

Leave a Reply to That Anonymous Coward Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it