Well – Cybersquatting is well known when we talk about traditional web pages. But now it’s also becoming a problem at Twitter.
I got a tip about this phenomenon from Lars K. Jensen (a Danish journalist from EkstraBladet). He wrote on Jaiku that he just had discovered that the name of the newspaper EkstraBladet already was taken at Twitter. He also tried some other Danish newspaper and the result was that almost all Twitter-names of the large papers had been taken.
Newspaper like Politiken, Berlingske Tidende, Nyhedsavisen, Børsen and 24 Timer have all had their names taken at Twitter.
Just look here
All names was taken on March 30, 2007. And all by the same person – even though there are using different names. All have the same contact email written in the first and only tweet.
The Danish newpapers are not the only one. Netflix is also suffering from cybersquatting. This is an even more obvious case. The one who set up the Twitter account – www.twitter.com/netflix – has put on a web address saying “for sale contact…”. I saw this at Simple Pixel.
Lars K. Jensen contacted the person behind who stole the Twitter-name of his newspaper – and got this reply
I would be happy to release the username over to you – However I believe that we should conduct a transaction – showing good faith on both parts.
A documentet donation to a charity organization – such as eg. Red Cross for no less than 50$ will be a prudent environment for us to make such a transaction.
I have a lot of respect for organizations like Red Cross – but why are they mixed into this?? Why not just give the Twitter-name back – it don’t belong to them. On top of this Cybersquatting is also against Twitter’s TOS (terms of service)
6. We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.
With this story in mind – I can only encourage companies and others to claim their own Twitter name ASAP (I have just done so this evening for my own company Rescu Kommunikation🙂 and my private Twitter account has been active for some time – so no problem there 🙂)