Official Call of Duty Twitter account tweets fake terrorist attack

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As part of a promotional stunt to promote Call of Duty: Black Ops III
and reveal new information about the plot of the game, Activision
yesterday tweeted out several reports regarding a fake terrorist attack
that had allegedly just happened in a highly populated area of
The tweets, which came from the official @CallOfDuty Twitter account,
explained that an explosion had gone off at the fictional Coalescence
Corporation building in Singapore and that Singapore authorities had
declared both a state of emergency and martial law within the country.
While the embedded version of the tweet above may seem like some
harmless fun, those in charge of the Twitter account may be in
considerable trouble due to breaking several of Twitter’s rules for
verified accounts. At the time that these tweets were sent out, the
Twitter account had its name, bio, and design altered to better reflect
that of a reputable news outlet upon first glance.

Once verified, Twitter accounts are not meant to change several key
pieces of information on their account. While clicking on the account
would still reveal that it was the Call of Duty account, the
verified tick next to an account lends a lot of legitimacy to the
content of the tweet when it appears in a users timeline.

The Call of Duty account appears to have deliberately abused
the presence of the verified mark on their account to quickly propagate
a fake account of a terrorist attack. That feels like it’s in pretty
bad taste as far as marketing moves go.

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So, do you believe creating a fake but Twitter verified news outlet
to tweet about a fake terrorist attack is fair game for marketers, or a
little over the line? I’d love to hear what people think.

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