In the wake of anger expressed by attendees of New York Comic Con when they realized they were spreading word about the show on social media — whether they wanted to or not – ReedPOP has discontinued its opt-in Twitter-based promotional initiative.
After the show opened Thursday afternoon, reports began circulating online that as part of its registration and badge pickup process, the New York City convention was using its access to the Twitter accounts of fans, professionals and press to send promotional tweets. The move is tied to radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips included on the NYCC badges. When attendees picked up their passes to the show and scanned a code on the back — ostensibly to curb counterfeiting and offer promotions like free comiXology downloads — they were presented with the option of linking the badge to their Twitter or Facebook accounts, a process that enabled the show to send brief tweets like “So much pop culture to digest! Can’t. handle. the. awesome. #NYCC.”
Editor of the tech blog Polygon, and power tweeter, Brian Crecente noticed the show, run by ReedPOP, had been tweeting through his account and reports he found more than 500 similar cases on the accounts of other attendees. Many of the affected users did not expect they’d be sending their followers pro-NYCC messages, even though the sign-in page states that the con attendee is granting ReedPop authority to post tweets for them.
Reached for comment, a ReedPOP spokesperson shared this statement: “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. 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.”