A marketing agency in Australia has posed as a police department, namely the New South Wales (NSW) Police, and
set up a Twitter account to join the conversation. Now, there have been times when we've all had ideas about acting like authorities on the phone to play a practical joke. Unfortunately, though, if the joke is convincing enough, the real police actually get involved and bad stuff happens.
So Mentally Friendly (because mental friends really are the best) decided to tweet in the name of the New South Wales police, which was an interesting thing to do save for the fact that an increasingly large number of people thought it really was written by the New South Wales police.
The Twitter page actually included the real badge for the NSW Police, which, in turn, caused the real NSW Police department to investigate. They contacted Twitter to ask about the "impersonation" policy, which was all Mentally Friendly needed to out themselves via a blog post and scream out, "We Did It! We Did It!" on the company site. Mentally Friendly's premise was that they did not want to dupe other Twitterers, but instead wanted to see what would happen if "the man" was included in conversations. It was only research (ha ha) to find out what the public's response would be. In hindsight, they probably should have told the police prior to their little charade.
Mentally Friendly got off the hook rather easily...the NSW Police confiscated the site to use as their own and that was the end of that.
If that kind of tomfoolery had happened in America, those marketing hooligans would be on their way to the big house.