Twitter has moved to pull a series of pernicious adverts seeking to dupe Hilary Clinton supporters into squandering their vote by texting their support to a useless number rather than register their actual vote in a polling booth.
It is unknown how many people fell for the scam which saw a series of adverts reading ‘Save time avoid the line: Vote from home’. Twitter users were then instructed to text ‘Hillary’ to 59925 ‘and we’ll make history together on 8 November.’
The numbers involved are likely to be small however as the advertised number has been taken over by iVisionMobile, who have responded to anyone texting the rogue campaign number to inform them that ‘the ad you saw was not approved’.
Twitter was initially slow to respond to complaints having suggested the ads did not breach its terms of service and keeping them in place for a full day before BuzzFeed got hold of the story - prompting chief executive Jack Dorsey to personally intervene.
Clinton has sought to harness social media as a positive force to help improve negative public perceptions but this latest issue shows it can also be turned against you.