About a year ago, after a particularly frustrating experience with Virgin Media, I created a Twitter profile, @virginmedia, and set up a TwitterFeed, drawing from various forums and keyword based news searches. The design of the profile copied their branding (better than it currently does!) and had the sarcastic bio: ‘We’re Virgin Media, you’re just a customer‘.So not exactly great PR for them. It amused me that most of the stories were complaints about service or technical difficulties, but the account could easily have tweeted positive stories. The feed seemed a pretty reasonable reflection of their service to me. Anyway, today I have just noticed that the page has been ‘claimed’ – presumably by Virgin Media itself. The page has been wiped clean: zero followers, zero following, zero updates. Zero bad Google karma. So my question is, how pissed off should I be? I feel like this is fair game… it’s not my brand to screw around with. If I fought it in court, I’d certainly be out of luck. It’s not like I’d have fought for it anyway. But still, I’m a bit pissed that Twitter just gave over the keys to the account like that! Ah well, Virgin Media Sucks, but I have no other choice!
EDIT (28 Dec 2008): I just discovered that in fact my account wasn’t deleted so much as ‘moved aside’. The Twitter account @notvirginmedia is the account formerly known as @virginmedia. It has all the posts up to the point where the username changed and broke the Twitterfeed. They also stripped the account of the avatar and background image (copyright infringement?) and the bio line. Bastards.
See this more recent post for an update.
Frankly, I think it’s okay for them to claim that account – you were using their brand name, after all, which could easily be mistaken for officially sanctioned “propaganda”.Having said that, it could have been handled more gracefully – both from Virgin and from Twitter.
Hmmmm this is quite an interesting case!
I remember back in the day when NThellWorld website was setup and it became more popular and a calling place for support rather than the official NTL website. Didnt NTL eventually try closing it before buying it out themselves? (Before it all become branded VirginMedia anyway!)
Copyright infringement is a funny and dangerous game (ive had a few run ins) and the big companies always win – but it’s always worth having a battle as these big companies never really know who to use in their companies to sort these ‘small’ issues out!
So have THEY renamed the virginmedia account to NOTVirginMedia? All still seems a bit odd!?
I assume Twitter did that on behalf of Virgin Media.
(I’m sure you spotted, but I should point out that this is a post from 2008. I’ve been pushing some of my more interesting oldies to Twitter as I tidy up things after the Posterous export. Here’s a follow up.)