News of Twitter CFO Anthony Noto having his Twitter account hacked came only days after Twitter CEO Dick Costolo admitted that the company’s response to Twitter abuse is “embarrassing.” Fortunately for Noto, the hack didn’t involve a series of abusive messages or embarrassing photographs, like most hacks. Instead, the hacker used Noto’s account to send out multiple click-bait tweets. Harmless as they may have been, the tweets are yet another example of a public figure being attacked for a hacker’s pure enjoyment.


Anthony Noto Tweet

Bad News Travels Fast

Twitter hacks are all too common, and public figures are the most common victims of this form of online abuse. Reputation being crucial to public figures, it takes only one tweet to cause irrevocable damage. Those of us who are in the social media loop quickly learn of accounts being hacked, but other social media users may never hear that news. In some cases, the public doesn’t believe the “my account was hacked” excuse so often given by public figures. The result? A forever damaged reputation.


Unremarkably, bad news travels faster than good news, so it’s crucial to take hold of the situation when social media accounts are compromised. Twitter immediately suspended Noto’s account, which was the right thing to do. Also, all tweets posted during the hack were deleted. In addition to taking these measures, you should immediately check all your social accounts to make sure they haven’t been compromised. Now, you can do damage control.


Monitoring your reputation will give you a heads up when your name is mentioned in the media.

Monitoring your reputation will give you a heads up when your name is mentioned in the media.

Recovering from Hacks

If your other social media accounts haven’t been compromised, you should post messages on all your accounts alerting your fans, customers, and clients to the hack. If abusive messages were sent through your accounts, you should apologize for your audience being exposed to the abuse. Explain to your audience that you’re working on the problem and going silent until the issue is resolved.


Social media is rented space, so it shouldn’t be the only place you alert your public to the hack. Compose a message on your company website or blog, and explain the situation. In some cases, it may be necessary to issue a press release. Distributing a press release can be costly, and it’s not necessary to distribute one if it isn’t newsworthy. In this situation, however, a press release will be worth every cent.


Monitoring your reputation can give you a heads up about any stories circulating about you and your company. If you’ve been hacked, you’ll want to keep an eye out for stories about the hack, and make certain to respond to anyone who isn’t aware that your accounts have been compromised. Once again, not everyone will hear that your account was hacked and that you weren’t responsible for any messages sent out during the hack. It’s critical that you monitor your reputation, so you can address those publics that aren’t aware of the situation.


Have you ever had a social media account compromised? What advice would you give to a person whose account has been hacked? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, or tweet me @nataliepetitto.