PSA: Don’t use a popular brand name for your online accounts.
Facebook’s social media team accidentally directed users to the Messenger account of a random Facebook user this morning, instead of the new HBO Westworld Messenger account it was trying to promote. On Twitter, the Messenger account instructed followers to chat with “Tes, the host of the new @WestworldHBO experience on Messenger” and linked to the Messenger account, messenger.com/t/westworld.
One small problem: “Westworld” was a Kentucky woman named Lisa, not an account run by HBO.
The mistake was first spotted by Matt Navarra, who wondered if Lisa was about to get an inbox slammed with messages.
The tweet was up for a couple of hours before the mistake was realized.
As a result, Lisa received a small handful of messages – around 20, she says. Facebook’s messaging system filtered these as “message requests,” which is how it handles unsolicited chat requests. Fortunately, the headache was minimal for the unintended recipient as she was able to just decline the incoming requests without having to respond.
Lisa says Facebook also reached out to her to apologize, and it corrected the link.
She has a sense of humor about the whole thing, as well.
“Guess that’s what I get for calling my home Westworld lol” she texted back to us when we asked her about the situation.
Facebook confirmed the mistake, in a statement.
“For a short time this morning, a tweet from the Messenger Twitter account incorrectly linked people to message an individual person, instead of the intended bot for Messenger. As soon as we became aware of the error, we immediately corrected it. We’re very sorry for any trouble or confusion this caused,” a Facebook spokesperson responded.