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Is Someone Using Your Organization’s Initials/Name in Social Media?

At Memphis, Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) we’ve run into a few instances in the past year or so of people using our initials or creating negative pages about us. In one case, an angry customer created “MLGW is Broken” Facebook and Twitter accounts. While we monitored them, we did not take any other action other than reaching to resolve any particular problems. They did not gain many followers/likes and the customer ceased to actively post (though the pages are still active).

More recently, a local
rapper has also adopted and transformed M.L.G.W. as an acronym for his
rap crew, and a local high school football player created a Twitter account
named “@MLGW_lightsout.” He’s not been critical of MLGW in any way (it’s pretty obvious he’s focusing more on the “lights out” aspect of his football play). But it’s our

Do you have any stories to share about similar experiences?

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I know USDA has had that problem as well as there is a rapper named Young Jeezy who calls his crew usda so often there stream was full of some jeezy fans

David Dejewski

For consideration: with the advent of social media, conversations go on with or without us. People will talk whether we’re listening or not. Ask a social media expert and they’re likely to mention that it’s better to put together a strategy for engaging, to take the high road and be transparent, than it is to ignore this and let someone else manage your brand.

Campbell David

Our organization got hijacked in a disagreeable way last year: a disgruntled member of the public created a facebook page with a similar acronym and acquired over a hundred confused “friends” who mistakenly signed on there. I’m an administrator for our account – my fellow administrators and I decided merely to monitor what was going on there. I received all sorts of disagreeable email from her, (calling my coworkers fat and lazy) but they became less frequent and eventually stopped. When it became plain that the site was merely for ranting, the followers dropped off and eventually the account was taken down.

While I was monitoring the bogus facebook account, another government agency drew the creator’s ire so she began attacking the Department of Transportation in similar fashion.

There will always be cranks out there and I think our failure to engage let the wind out of her sails.

Mary Yang

Apologies – for some reason, my full comment won’t post!

I saw this article and thought of your post: http://on.msnbc.com/wcwHE9

Essentially, APStylebook and other writing guide manuals have fake parody accounts on Twitter. It’s a pretty funny little interaction that caused enough buzz that MSNBC picked it up.

I agree with the other comments below, especially Campbell David’s about refusing to engage if you know you’re just dealing with a ranter in the social media sphere. But but I also think that, if the opportunity allows for it, you shouldn’t be afraid to be lighthearted in your approach to dealing with the local rapper. It could create a little buzz that puts your organization in the spotlight.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey Glen – In situations where there’s confusion between your name and theirs that would cause problems in the case of an emergency or the need for expedient communication, I’d say it’s worth making sure that citizens are getting accurate information without haze or hesitation. In short, I’d open up a conversation with them and explore solutions, which could include references to you on their websites and other compromises short of “cease and desist.”