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Twitter apologizes for using fake tweets under real users' names

July 25, 2013 at 4:06 PM   |   Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, July 25 (UPI) -- Twitter has issued an apology for faking real users' tweets in an image posted on its blog intended to promote its new ad platform.

A followup posting on its blog said, "An earlier version of this blog post included an image with mock Tweets from real users of our platform. This was not OK. Once we became aware of this mistake we took it down immediately. We deeply apologize to the three users included in the earlier images."

The fake tweets in the mocked-up graphic promoting a new Twitter Ads integration with TV commercials were supposedly from three Twitter users raving about the commercials, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

While the Twitter users featured in the image mock-up are real, their tweets were not, and they never actually said anything about TV commercials.

They were also not informed that their profile pictures and accounts were in a post on Twitter's blog.

"It's disturbing and has no place," said Neil Gottlieb, who was unaware the Twitter blog post featured a tweet with him saying, "What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!"

Gottlieb said he had contacted an attorney about the unapproved use of his likeness to sell a Twitter ad platform.

"To use my image and fake a tweet is wrong and needs to be addressed," said Gottlieb, who runs a medical animation company in Philadelphia.

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