Posted December 19, 2008 11:39 am by with 25 comments

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Just days after an Australian judge ruled that Facebook could be used to server a home owner foreclosure legal documents, we now have a curious case of a cease and desist notice being sent via Twitter.

The official Burger King Twitter account has apparently sent such a notice to the account "WhopperVirgins"–which we assume has been "brandjacked" by someone outside of the fast food company.

Now, knowing BK, this could just be some kind of inside joke, but it will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a growing trend. I, for one, have personally been a victim of brandjacking on Twitter–although I chose a more amicable solution for getting back the Trackur username.

If a judge can legitimize Facebook as a channel for legal communication, then surely we can assume the same for Twitter. This has ramifications way beyond the return of a hijacked Twitter account and is plagued with obvious flaws–what if the person has blocked you?

I’d personally like to see a more structured way for trademark owners to quickly have a brandjacked account returned to them–asking Twitter is like asking Santa Claus–so let’s hope this is a step in that direction.

  • Kenya

    How do we know that @theBKlounge is the official Burger King Twitter account? There is nothing about it that suggests that it is – the tweets certainly don’t. For all I know in just looking at this is that two brandjackers are competing with each other. I’m sure Burger King has a legal department and I doubt that they would think such a practice is legally sufficient. Legally, Burger King can subpoena Twitter for information about the offending account and serve a cease and desist notice that way.

  • Andy Beal

    @Kenya – I agree, this could all be a hoax, or two brandjackers talking to each other. 😉

  • Scott Mahler

    This would be funny, if it didn’t speak of a bigger problem. Just like everything else in the world, scam artists abound in the social media world. I don’t understand why they put that much energy into ripping people off, when they could use that same energy to do their own work?

    Scott Mahler’s last blog post..Internet Marketing For Your Website: Tips On How It’s Done

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  • mark

    as the brandjacker of the @trackur name, what possible recourse did you have (if I wasn’t nice and gave it to you?) btw, you promised you would use/develop it, and, with 36 followers, you haven’t done a damn thing with it.

  • Andy Beal

    @Mark – I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do with it.

  • JustinSMV

    Doesn’t seem legit to give an CD order like that on Twitter, measures would of been taken for direct e-mail contact so the BK boys can flaunt their million dollar lawyers address& contact info which is far more intimidating than a 140 character remark. Nice find though.

    JustinSMV’s last blog post..Why You Should Drop Twitter Tool Qwitter Like A Bad Habit

  • Nicole Price

    I bet that everyone will have a good laugh about the whole issue in a while.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Tips to Save Money During the Holidays

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  • Paul Rasmussen

    What amazes me about all of this is not whether or not it is really BK, it is the fact that people assumed that Twitter and Facebook were not just another means of communication,like letters, emails, and phone calls. It just seems like common sense to me. If you are not prepared to see and back up the things that you say and do on national TV or in court you should probably not say them at all

    Paul Rasmussen’s last blog post..FACEBOOK | Do you Self-Censor your Profile

  • Small Business Marketing

    How do we know it is truly a Burger King initiated event? I’ve seen those email from the IRS sting that I’ve qualified to get money back and asking for information from me. It looks official. So what?

  • AIDS Drugs

    This definitely does not seem real to me, I doubt if burger king found out that they would send a twitter message. Most likely a cease and desist order in person by 5 lawyers.

  • Stajo

    Twitter is not big enough yet to concentrate a lot of brand’s attention, so that CD message is enough for now. But when twitter expands brands going to be more concerned (and BK better name itself Burger king instead of some theBKlounge), and twitter should cooperate with brands in such cases, perhaps even find a way to make mone from these cooperations.

    Stajo’s last blog post..The Seesmic Song

  • Wii Fit

    I hope this make their bussiness easy and popular.

  • DeAnna Troupe

    I have to agree with the others before me. How do we know that this is really Burger King? Someone at Burger King needs to set up a twitter account called The Real Burger King before a brandjacker does.

  • Kristina Weis

    It’s great to see people actually using Twitter and other social media sites in this way. The capability is there, so why not? If you haven’t already heard or seen it there is a random Comcast employee doing something similar trying to respond to people mentioning service problems, etc: Also, here’s a related post about prevent brandjacking before it happens:

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  • DF Marketing SEO

    Tooooo funnny… This could be a good marketing ploy of creating online havoc for a brand. just joking

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