Journalism At Work: Paul Pierce's Twitter Account Gets Hacked

We NBA fans know Paul Pierce to be, well, a little cocky. So when the following tweet showed up on Pierce's official Twitter account, we assumed it was him, because it sounds like something Paul Pierce would say.

"Anybody got a BROOM?"    

As it turns out, though, that wasn't actually Pierce - it was some dude who hacked his Twitter account. Which stinks for guys like Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi, who wrote a print column presenting the tweet as fact, only to find after his deadline that the tweet wasn't from Pierce. Sorry dude.

So how did this fake "tweet" get exposed?

Right from the start, Pro Basketball Talk's Rob Mahoney was suspicious. As he wrote last night:

There are numerous pieces of evidence that point to this being something aside from the mouthpiece of Pierce himself. The account is verified and does belong to Paul, but the bizarre online trash talk seems to have come from nowhere, contradicts Pierce and the Celtics' "taking care of business" company line in favor of a more brash approach, and while all of Pierce's other tweets were submitted via text or Twitter's web site, the tweets in question were sent in using a non-browser agent called Twitterific. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd say this is a hack. 

A couple hours later, Athlete Interactive, the digital media firm behind Pierce's Twitter account, confirmed to Mahoney that the tweets were indeed fake. So just to review: it took someone suspecting foul play based on the Twitter client the tweets came from to "expose" that this was a fake Tweet.

Welcome to 2010, everyone!

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