NBC News Twitter Account Hacked

On Friday afternoon, two days prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, NBC News’ Twitter account (@NBCNews) was hacked and tweets falsely reported that an airplane had crashed at Ground Zero.

Due to the prompt response by NBC News notifying Twitter, the account was deactivated and only a small amount of NBC News’ 130,000 followers likely read the tweet. However, the anxiety caused at such a sensitive time was unnecessary and raises the issue of social network security again. (Fox News’ Twitter account was also recently hacked.) It is shocking that hackers were able to easily take over a major news outlet’s account when reportedly only three NBC executives have the password.

NBC handled the situation by making an apology on the “NBC Nightly News,” and tweeting/posting online that the information was false and that their account had been hacked.

Watch NBC News’ Brian Williams Issue Apology

Twitter and Facebook are wonderful tools for communicating.  I can’t imagine doing my job today without them.  However, their security features must be closely examined and upgraded to avoid misinformation. Additionally, news outlets need to revisit their security protocol when it comes to social media.  If not, communications professionals and journalists will need to seriously reconsider how they share news via social media channels while protecting the news’ integrity at the same time.

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