Update – NYCC has shut down the automated twitter/facebook posts. In a comment made to polygon.com, an New York Comic Con representative said that it was an "opt-in" function but they were too enthusiastic in their messaging and shut it down. They also tweeted the following:
FYI – do not fret if #NYCC-ID tweeted as you yesterday! We shut this opt-in feature off so it won't happen anymore. Have a blast at NYCC!
— New York Comic Con (@NY_Comic_Con) October 11, 2013
Professionals, press and fans attending the New York Comic Con are complaining that tweets exclaiming their excitement for being at the show did not in fact come from the account owners but rather the convention promoters tweeting for them.
The badges have an added RFID chip this year that ties to the user's identity and folks were encouraged to connect their social-media accounts to their badges. We're told it did not specifically ask for permission to post to Facebook or twitter on the user's behalf. The convention planned to use the RFID tags to help prevent counterfeiting and track attendees to help learn about over-crowded areas of the show. They said there would be "Social Media Perks" for registering your accounts that would include fifty free comiXology downloads and someone would win a new Chevy Sonic. We are not sure yet what those perks turned out to be at show time.
Their website only referred to it as "social media integration", the same term used by ID&C, a British company that makes RFID chips for wristbands and badges. The company's website talks about social media integration like this:
By linking a concert-goers RFID wristband or pass with the their online social profile, oganisers and brands can promote their event extensively throughout the digital world, deepening customer relationships and amplifying the event experience to a new audience.
Possible benefits of social media integration include:
New revenue streams and enhancements for sponsors and brands
Real time promotions before, during and after an event
The ability to 'check-In', 'like' and Tweet using an admission wristband
Festival-goers become brand advocates, projecting their experience to a like-minded online audience
What company ReedPOP (the convention promoters) used for the RFID chips is not known at this time, but the abilities described by ID&C appear similar to those in use this weekend at the Javitz Center.
All the tweets had the hashtag #NYCC and a bit.ly link that redirected to the convention's Facebook page. They were crafted to sound like a real tweet and not a generated message, though in some cases two messages were sent and in the case of Cullen Bunn the exact same message was sent. Perhaps he was picking up more than one badge at the time.
Here are some of the tweets.
— cullenbunn (@cullenbunn) October 10, 2013
— Harry Knowles (@headgeek666) October 10, 2013
— Chelsea Stark (@chelseabot) October 10, 2013
— Brian Crecente (@crecenteb) October 10, 2013
It is possible to go onto both Facebook and Twitter from a PC and remove the authorization to avoid any future hands-free posts.