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The Imitation Game
Stephen Martone, Online Brand & Marketing Consultant
Nicolle Wahl, University of Toronto Mississauga
It’s happened to me
@nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
Data Extraction
Western University (UWO) Class of 2019 — Social Group
@nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
It’s all connected
Multiple accounts “representing”
Ontario universities
• Descriptive text was identical
• Common admin accounts across
each...
UTM group initially used our logo
• Trademark violation was obvious
and an easy target
• Style guide clearly defines
viola...
Challenging trademark violations
via Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/help/22
3752991080711
@nicollewahl | @stephen_marto...
Official? Non-official?
• The power of our own brands
gives these groups credibility
• Unlikely a prospective student
woul...
University of Toronto
Student Code of Conduct
• Written in 2002
• Facebook launched 2004
• Twitter launched 2006
@nicollew...
Action!
• Contacted student directly
• Trademark violation
• Group gave false impression of
association with UTM
• Other u...
Options 1 & 2:
• Argue to Facebook that the group
is misleading prospective students
(weak)
• Argue to Facebook that admin...
Option 3
• Contact the group admin and
make your arguments
• Be persistent
• Be authoritative
• Be threatening (carefully!...
Whac-a-Mole?
• Constant monitoring will help
catch the worst offenders
• Prepare to share
@nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
The cycle begins again
every academic year.
@nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
@nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
Further legal options
via CASL?
• Group “must request clear consent
for secondary use” of the students’
contact informatio...
Resources
• http://www.fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home
• https://www.facebook.com/help/174210519303259
• https:/...
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The Imitation Game -- The war against unofficial social media accounts

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What do you do when one of your students creates an unofficial “Class of” Facebook group, slaps your logo on it, and fills it with links to sites you’d rather not associate with your institution? And not only for your university–he’s done it for hundreds of schools in Canada, the U.S. and perhaps internationally. What are the reasons behind it? Does your Code of Conduct give you a leg to stand on? How do you protect your brand and your social media cred when tracking these entities is like finding the proverbial needle in an online haystack?

Find out how the University of Toronto Mississauga dealt with exactly this issue, and managed to resolve it.

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The Imitation Game -- The war against unofficial social media accounts

  1. 1. The Imitation Game Stephen Martone, Online Brand & Marketing Consultant Nicolle Wahl, University of Toronto Mississauga
  2. 2. It’s happened to me @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  3. 3. Data Extraction Western University (UWO) Class of 2019 — Social Group @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone It’s all connected
  4. 4. Multiple accounts “representing” Ontario universities • Descriptive text was identical • Common admin accounts across each group @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  5. 5. UTM group initially used our logo • Trademark violation was obvious and an easy target • Style guide clearly defines violations • University legal team @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  6. 6. Challenging trademark violations via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/help/22 3752991080711 @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  7. 7. Official? Non-official? • The power of our own brands gives these groups credibility • Unlikely a prospective student would look for proof of affiliation • Promise of peer-to-peer interaction is powerful @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  8. 8. University of Toronto Student Code of Conduct • Written in 2002 • Facebook launched 2004 • Twitter launched 2006 @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  9. 9. Action! • Contacted student directly • Trademark violation • Group gave false impression of association with UTM • Other universities @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  10. 10. Options 1 & 2: • Argue to Facebook that the group is misleading prospective students (weak) • Argue to Facebook that admins are harvesting student e-mails for the purpose of spamming them (stronger) @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  11. 11. Option 3 • Contact the group admin and make your arguments • Be persistent • Be authoritative • Be threatening (carefully!) @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  12. 12. Whac-a-Mole? • Constant monitoring will help catch the worst offenders • Prepare to share @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  13. 13. The cycle begins again every academic year. @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  14. 14. @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  15. 15. Further legal options via CASL? • Group “must request clear consent for secondary use” of the students’ contact information • Must provide opt-out @nicollewahl | @stephen_martone
  16. 16. Resources • http://www.fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home • https://www.facebook.com/help/174210519303259 • https://www.facebook.com/terms • https://support.twitter.com/groups/56-policies- violations/topics/236-twitter-rules-policies/articles/18366- impersonation-policy • https://help.instagram.com/446663175382270/ @stephen_martone @nicollewahl

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