Convert A Hacking Nightmare Into A Productive Online Solution

February 27, 2013
Anonymous by Schuilr, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License??by??Schuilr?
On February 18, 2013, Burger King was the victim of a social media hack that targeted its Twitter account. The hack resulted to substituting the icon of Burger King?s Twitter feed into the signature golden arches of fast food rival McDonald?s plus the tweet, ?We just got sold to McDonald?s?. Over 50 unauthorized tweets followed, with some involving drug and racial comments. Burger King immediately recognized the problem and shut down the account. Afterwards, the company was able to reclaim the feed with the help of Twitter. The social media team of BK actually did an impressive job by fixing the situation immediately in just a few hours.


Other online users thought that the situation was conducted by Burger King itself to gain some publicity. There were users prompting others to immediately follow the account. Others suspected that the people behind McDonald?s were responsible, considering that the golden arches and company name were included in the posts. McDonald?s, however, was quick to empathize with Burger King and forwarded its sentiments through a tweet.

Who Did It?

According to the social media experts who contained the incident, a group of people who used the Twitter handle @DFNCTSC is the most likely culprit. It may be an attempt to gain more followers of their own.


Even though the situation will most likely lead to some long-term consequences, there were actually positive things that also arose. In a single day, the Twitter account of Burger King acquired close to 60,000 new followers. By evening, BK tweeted, ?Interesting day here at BURGER KING, but we?re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!? When situations like these arise, it is important for the company to immediately contain the situation and let followers know about the incident.

Giving Your Hacking Scare A 180-Degree Turn

According to Bruce Serbin, a media publicist, it is important to keep followers informed and give them honest and direct details to prevent rumors from spreading. By making the most out of the hacking incident, big companies can actually turn situations around to their advantage. Burger King was able to get something good out of a supposedly destructive moment. Instead of ruining its reputation, it gained tens of thousands of new followers. Burger King is not the first big company to experience hacking problems. When these online nightmares happen, businesses have to be prepared and have a set of guidelines to follow to guarantee the protection of the company and its clients. According to Brad Cleveland, a customer service consultant, handling the problem with humility and focusing on the best interests of the client is important. The first step involves preventing the problem and the second step involves knowing what to do if the problem should still persist.

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