Imagine this: you are the Public Information Officer for a large government agency and you have formed a Joint Information Center for a freeway overpass collapse. You are struggling to get the information flow going and you get reports from citizens and the news media of facts coming out of the JIC that you haven’t provided. Your team investigates and finds someone has set up a twitter account with “interstatebridgecollapse” on the account.
It is some eyewitness who is reporting what is going on, but with an obvious ax to grind. And everyone is treating this guy as the official source of information about the response.
Am I using scare tactics and making this stuff up? No, it is already happening. Fake twitter accounts are already becoming a problem according to this article from PR Tactics. The Dalai Lama was one innocent victim.
Bottom line–if you aren’t operating at Twitter speed, how can you immediately blunt the impact of these significant threats. But how can you operate at Twitter speed when you have a whole organization to set up and manage? Wow, it keeps getting tougher.