CNN’s Phantom Twitter Account

By Deane Barker on April 20, 2009

Ignore Twitter? Major brands learn they’d better respond — and quick: Very interesting and somewhat under-reported note about the CNN Twitter account (the one Ashton Kutcher was racing against):

[…] an odd quirk of the much-hyped race was overshadowed: CNN hadn’t actually owned its account until a few days earlier.

For more than two years, the CNNBrk account (for breaking news) had been created, maintained and run by a 25-year-old British Web developer who just wanted a way to beam short news alerts to his cellphone.

But when CNN found out that James Cox had appropriated its name and content, it took a direction that might seem a bit surprising for a major media company. Instead of suing Cox or trying to shut down the account, CNN quietly hired him to run it — and then acquired it last week when Cox was visiting the company’s Atlanta headquarters.

Hats off to CNN for not being boneheads about it.