You may remember that recently, the Call of Duty Black Ops 3 twitter rebranded itself as “Current Events Aggregate”, changed it’s icon and banner and then proceeded to post about fictional terrorist attacks.
This was designed to drop hints for Black Ops 3’s story, but some mistook the news for genuine reports, resulting in confusion and stress.
Call of Duty, Treyarch and Activision have been widely criticsed for this stunt, and while the marketing team responsible has yet to apologise, director Jason Blundell has issued a personal apology.
“I personally am very sorry for anyone who looked at it and got the wrong idea because it genuinely wasn’t meant that way. It was done on our channel, and it was to talk about the fiction of the world. I think we were as shocked as everybody else when it started blowing up, because essentially we were teeing up ready for a story beat. So again, very sorry for anyone who took it that way.”
Some of the confusion probably came from the fact that this account was verified at the time of posting. So, with the name, banner and icon change people may have thought (at a glance) that the news was real. Especially if you are not familiar with Call of Duty.
Yes, when you looked a bit deeper, you would see that the news was fake. But let’s be honest here – this was Twitter, and a lot of people probably saw the verified tick, the name and banner, and assumed it was true. If you ask me, posting about a fake terrorist attack in a real place in this day and age is just tasteless, and you can’t blame people for thinking for a moment that it was real.