SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter responded on January 5 to a well-publicized hacking incident on its site by posting information to its blog and using its microblogging service to distribute details of the hacking.
Hackers posted fake messages to the accounts of 33 Twitter users, including those of Fox News, the campaign of President-elect Barack Obama, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, and Britney Spears on January 5.
Biz Stone, cofounder of Twitter, posted to the service's blog the day the incident occurred. The microblogging service also distributed information about the incident via its own Twitter account, as well as those of its management, such as Stone.
Stone said that he also participated in about a dozen media interviews via phone, or three times that “if you count quick interviews via e-mail.”
The service does not work with an outside PR agency. Stone added that he “[doesn't think] the traditional PR approach works” for Twitter.
“The same reason why people are attracted to the service is the same reason why reporters and analysts are. They see things in their own way and they want to write their own stories, whether it's about an earthquake or the terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” he said. “I don't feel like proactively pitching stories is the way to go… when we have these challenges, it's an opportunity to show what sort of character and integrity we have, as opposed to delegating to an outside firm.”
Stone said that despite some criticism of Twitter's handling of the incident, the service posted information about the incident as soon as it understood what had happened.
“I get a lot of e-mails praising us for how openly we responded, but that being said, there are always going to be people who think we should have gotten the information out there more quickly,” he said. “As soon as we knew about what had happened we posted it.”