Some people like to complain about Monday’s and how awful they are. Unfortunately for Burger King, they have a legitimate beef (see what I did there) with Monday today.
Around 11 am central time on Monday, Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked.
The tweets that followed were full of drug references and some even included racial slurs (not shown here):
Twitter suspended the account after about an hour and a half of fun by the hackers. The account was suspended by the request of Burger King. In that time period, the account gained about 30,000 followers and they were one of Twitter’s trending topics. Twitter has a policy stating they cannot discuss accounts because of privacy reasons but Burger King put out the following statement:
“It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of the BURGER KING® brand has been hacked. We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings. We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”
We empathize with our @burgerking counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) February 18, 2013
Sad thing is for Burger King, this isn’t their worst PR problem this year. After weeks of denial, Burger King made a statement on February 1st that they sold burgers with horse meat in the patties at their United Kingdom locations.
So what does this mean for social media managers out there? You can never be too careful about who has your Twitter password. Make sure your Twitter password is secure. The hackers said that Burger King’s password was “whopper123.” Most likely a joke, we are guessing Burger King’s Twitter password wasn’t very secure.
The hacked account also mentioned @YourAnonNews several times in their tweets. The “Anonymous” group has hacked several Twitter accounts associated with brands and individuals that have deceived the public (the horsemeat incident is cited as why @BurgerKing was hacked). These users have also targeted Westboro Baptist Church members and their Twitter accounts.
Our tips for your business:
- Have a secure password on your Twitter account and attached e-mail account
- Don’t anger Anonymous
Burger King will most likely get their Twitter account back as soon as they can verify the original owner of the account with Twitter’s support team. Until then, Burger King’s social media team has the unfortunate task of planning and rebuilding trust with their customers.