One of the things we strive to do at SteamFeed is tell the truth about marketing, social media, technology, and business. And when we see a new social media tool come out that could potentially damage the reputation of people, we want to educate people about it: we’re trying to make the internet a better place for everyone by cleaning up the junk.
One of our authors, Phil Gerbyshak (@PhilGerb), shared this post from Media Bistro in our private Facebook group. It’s about a new tool called LemmeTweetThatForYou that lets you create Twitter screenshots on behalf of others. It pulls everything, from the display picture, to @username, and even pulls the user’s background! Yikes! Now, it was probably created for fun, like shown in the screenshots below.
But there are two main concerns that popped up in our group when we first heard of this: Boasted Reputations, and Damaged Reputations.
1. Fake Reputation and Endorsements
Imagine if you’re an industry professional, trying to make it big. You want a super great endorsement on Twitter from the leading experts in your industry. Or you’re launching this scam product, maybe some ridiculous social media certification, and you want to get endorsements from big names in the industry and satisfied clients. Well, it’s now easier to fake it.
Before, when you saw a Twitter screenshot of an endorsement, reference, or testimonial, it was legit. You believed it, and it gave extra credibility to the person who’s endorsed. Now, it could easily be faked, making self-proclaimed “gurus” look like they know what they’re doing, with fake endorsements, from “real” clients. This is in the same boat as buying fake followers/likes to make yourself look more “important.”
2. Damaged & Ruined Reputations and Bullying/Harassment
There are always petty people out there, trying to ruin others’ achievements. It sucks, but it’s true. If anyone wanted to start some fake drama, accuse people of saying nasty things, or accuse someone of bullying, they could easily create a fake tweet screenshot now, blog about it, and create some real damage towards someone’s reputation. If people search for the real tweets, you could easily say they’ve been deleted, and nobody can argue who’s right or wrong. Since most people don’t know about this tool, they would be more inclined on believing the person that’s creating a ruckus, than the poor person getting attacked. Not cool.
The problem with a tool like this is that IT WILL GET ABUSED! The majority of people do not know about this tool, and will believe the screenshots are real. I know the tool was probably not created for the purposes above, but a fun, harmless tool can easily be used in a negative context, which can be dangerous.
It’s our job, as social media professionals, to educate as many people as we can about this. Please, share this article with everyone you know, or even write your own follow-up article! Let’s all help making the internet a safer place for everyone.