New York Comic Con gave attendees the option to link their Twitter with their badge this year, then proceeded to tweet from their accounts without permission or knowledge.
Under the hashtag NYCC, Comic Con tweeted things like “So much pop culture to digest! Can’t. handle. the. awesome”; “So much to see, so much to do!”; and “Best Four Days of my Year!”
Attendees who pre-registered their NYCC badge online were allowed to connect their social media accounts, but it was not explicitly stated that NYCC would be posting on their behalf, according to Mashable.
Once attendees noticed the tweets, many were outraged.
“Hey, @NY_Comic_Con. I did not Tweet this. What the hell? Your wifi? Your app?” tweeted Greg Miller.
“RT So much pop culture to digest! Can’t. handle. the. awesome. #NYCC … This wasn't me. It was NYCC tweeting for me :/” wrote Brian Crecente.
The tweets were apparently the brainchild of NYCC organizer ReedPop. The badges are equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips to avoid counterfeiting. Through these chips the NYCC was able to sense when attendees arrived and transfer information onto their Twitter, turning their accounts into fake testimonials.
“Opting in” to the posts apparently meant connecting social media at all. NYCC said the experience would be “100x cooler,” but Wired says what they really meant was “we’ll use your social media presence to post spam in your feed as soon as the RFID badge senses that you’ve entered the Javits Center to attend the show.”
An NYCC spokesperson later informed Mashable that the “service” was shut down.
“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 NYCC statement said. “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. -Your friends at NYCC”
The Twitterverese began referring to the incident as NYCC’s “RFID hack.”
NYCC attendees are still half-heartedly questioning whether tweets they see from other users are actually authentic.