One of the problems with bots is that it’s difficult for real users to know who or what is running the account. So, it’s equally difficult to ascertain if the bots are commercial bots trying to boost a brand or if they are something more nefarious. A good example of this are the Publisher’s Clearing House bots.
There are endless Twitter accounts using Publisher’s Clearing house in their profile descriptions. Some of them appear to be impostor accounts while others appear to be scam accounts. Some seem to only retweet Publisher’s Clearing House while others have never tweeted though the accounts are old.
Publisher’s Clearing House’s Danielle Lam has a lot of twins
A lot of the bots use Publisher’s Clearing House’s employee Danielle Lam as the identity on the account.
Regretfully, it doesn’t appear that Lam has a verified Twitter account, so it is difficult to know which, if any, of the accounts are hers. A few examples:
The Duplicitous Nature of Impostor Bots
This mass duplication is duplicitous, regardless of the source. But if who’s duplicity is it? Are Twitter accounts being used to spoof Publisher’s Clearing House to dupe real users? Or has Publisher’s Clearing House crossed over to the dark side of digital marketing by purchasing bots? And how are real users supposed to know the difference when the accounts look so similar and make the same claims?
If these accounts are not being disseminated through Publisher’s Clearing House, then Twitter has a major problem on its hands. Impostor accounts are serious business. And Publisher’s Clearing House is not alone. If impostor business accounts are used for nefarious purposes, it could harm the reputation of the companies being impersonated. And given how easy these accounts are to find, there’s no excuse for Twitter not to identify and then suspend them.
Written by Virginia Murr
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