A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that lists the Twitter status of local councils in the UK. I had been told today that the link for Wandsworth Council http://twitter.com/wwcouncil was in fact not Wandsworth Council! The real Wandsworth Council which recently just started twittering is actually under the username @WandBC at http://www.twitter.com/wandbc
At first I blamed myself for making a horrible mistake for not checking first but then I checked my resource @uklocalcouncils http://twitter.com/uklocalcouncils which links to DirectGov (which is the UK’s central government website) had also linked to @wwcouncil . They possibly also thought that it was indeed Wandsworth Council.
This raises an interesting point of council identity fraud on twitter. Questions arising are:-
- How do we protect local councils account from being duplicated or becoming a victim of identity fraud? It was lucky in this case that they had not yet posted any tweets.
- Can you imagine what would happen if fraudsters started posting false information on behalf of councils?
- How can we overcome problems of government data on non-government servers?
Maybe Twitter can provide governments and companies a separate registration page option and authority layout that undergoes security checks to ensure it is in fact the true account holder of the organization…
I do however think there is a possibility that maybe a member of staff at Wandsworth was just testing Twitter and opened a dummy account but it still raises security issues. But it is all still a mystery at the moment…
Look forward to hearing your views and comments on this.