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Twitter is a great medium for various hoaxes, but one must act quickly to stop malicious accounts. However, given that BP (NYSE: BP ) isn't doing anything to shut down accounts such as BPCares (also a very popular hashtag), one cannot do anything else but assume it is either a legit communication channel, or that the real BP simply does not care about what BPCares posts into the Twittersphere.
Comments such as "We really wish the water would not contaminate our oil" and "We do not recommend swimming in the ocean-infested oil" are just a few bits and pieces from the communication BPCares is spinning out. Even though it is not a legitimate BP PLC account, the company did nothing to react. We have contacted BP PLC and asked for a comment, but the account stands as of this date. Then again, what is BP doing on Twitter? Given that BPGlobalPR is another hoax twitter account, don't expect much.
The major problem BP faces is not the oil spill itself, but debunkings of their efforts which are steadily coming onto the Internet. A recent YouTube PR spin showed several hundred workers cleaning oil-stricken shores, but subsequent posts on different blogs and newssites tracked those workers leaving the shore following the conclusion of the shoot.
It is unfortunate that a company with $246.1 billion in revenue in 2009, and a $26.43 billion profit, cannot afford to pay more attention to social networks -- or actually spend some of those profits to really clean up the shores hit by this cost-saving-induced ecological catastrophe.
At the end of the day, vote with your wallets.
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This analysis was posted on The Bright Side of News*.