This is the kind of thing that kind of alarms me, but since people don’t believe in privacy anymore, the practice of allowing corporations to hijack your social media to advertise their products may be less of a big deal as it undoubtedly becomes more common.

As we all know, New York Comic Con installed a new badge system this year that involved RFID technology. The radio frequency enhanced badges not only allow security to check whether you have been going in and out too much, but in theory allow organizers a Marauder’s Map-like chart of where all the badges are over an area.

They also, as Mashable reported, used a system set up to allow NYCC to post as you, with such messages as these:

Even this morning as news broke, the con was urging you to activate your badge to join on the advertising campaign:

However, soon a more comforting message was released:

If this apology seemed a bit glib, a more formal one was released to news organizations this morning:

“As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered,” the representative wrote. “This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep. Please accept our apologies and have an absolutely excellent time this weekend. “

There are a couple of lessons here: #1 Don’t opt in to things you don’t understand. I rarely “authorize” apps to post as me–my Twitter is my professional news feed and only I can handle it. I realize this ship has sailed for people who always check the box.

#2 It was obviously an over-zealous marketing meeting where these boosterish messages were approved. This technology is getting more and more common and it’s our guess that people will come to see it as the price they pay for free social media tools.


  1. #3: I haven’t seen the sign-up form in question, but companies often misuse the term “opt-in” to indicate that there was a check box present, but checking it by default…making it only as “opt-in” as the overall service.

  2. What moron thought this was a good idea? I mean really, as bad as marketing types can be (spoke by someone who has been one on a few occasions), I still cannot wrap my head around this. Monumentally stupid and for so little gain. It’s not like there won’t be a bajillion tweets and FB updates from #NYCC anyway.

  3. Man, an apology is the least they could do. They posted to my FB yesterday that I was “getting my nerd on at NYCC.” If they’re going to post to my account, that’s one thing (bad enough), but if they’re going to post AS ME?? That takes some crust, brother.

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