It hurts my eyes to see provocative profile pictures of half-naked women and other racy avatars in my twitter stream from squatters who have hijacked brand names. I may not be following these accounts but when I do keyword searches or just looking for brands on Twitter, only to find out that they have yet to claim their brand name is sad. It’s even sadder if they have attempted to get access to their brand name twitter account and were unsuccessful. But with the growth of Twitter and dealing with all of the spam, please be patient with the Twitter team.

Photo via AdAage.com

Yesterday’s Advertising Age article called GM, Kellogg, Nestle Beat to the Tweet as Squatters Take Over Twitter Names is a troubling sign for Twitter and brands but it should be nothing new to brands, just something they haven’t done in a while. Remember the .com squatting back in 1997 and more recently Facebook username / fanpage squatting a few months ago. Regardless I’ve had a few success stories helping brands getting access to squatted Twitter accounts and getting a few spammed “brandjacking” twitter accounts closed. How you ask? Well I will say their is no exact proven method that will work 100% but I will share what has worked for me.

1. Email terms@twitter.com to let them know that you own the trademark to your brand. A screenshot or pdf attachment with proof is advise to let them know you want your Twitter brand name.

2. Send a tweet from a representative of your company or another company created twitter account to the proper twitter employee that handles Twitter name squatting. I’m not going to give you their names but you can find and follow the entire Twitter team here: http://twitter.com/twitter/team and /or here: http://listorious.com/twitter/team. Please don’t spam them. Note that @biz and @ev are the cofounders and are very busy.

3. Login and fill out the “Submit a request page here to Twitter’s support team: http://help.twitter.com/requests/new

DandyID: Universally Portable Social Identity!

1/2. Use a service like DandyID’s Claim my name that will secure your name on social networks and prevent brandjacking. http://www.dandyid.org/beta/claimmyname

To those of you who are squatting twitter names, shame on you. To those of you who are trying to get access to your Twitter brand name, good luck. Oh, by the way @Krispy_Kreme if you want access to the @HotNow Twitter account, just let me know.

Update: Also read  DON’T FALL VICTIM TO B2B TWITTER SQUATTING by Jeff Cohen aka @dgtlpapercuts

If you need additional help I can be reached at wayne at ourhashtag dot com

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