Amid oil spill bout, hackers take over BP Twitter feed

For a moment on Thursday morning, as news of the oil spill careened around the Web, hackers took over the Twitter account of BP. Fear not: The real BP is now back in control.

Hackers briefly took over control of the official BP Twitter feed on Thursday morning. Will the real BP please stand up?

The newest front in the ongoing spat over the BP oil spill? Twitter, naturally. For a brief time on Thursday morning, hackers broke into the official BP Twitter feed, and posted at least one tweet referencing a very popular fake BP Twitter account. "Terry is now in charge of operation Top Kill, work will recommence after we find a XXL wetsuit. #bpcares #oilspill," the hackers wrote.

For the uninitiated, Terry is a recurring character over on BPGlobalPR, a Twitter feed purporting to be the communications arm of BP. The folks at BPGlobalPR typically roll out several humorous one-liners a day. ("Just got the concession call from Exxon Valdez. They were great competitors and remarkably evil about everything," reads a recent post.)

To judge by the metrics, more people are interested in reading @BPGlobalPR than @BP_America, which is the real BP site. @BP_America, for instance, has approximately 7,200 followers. @BPGlobalPR has just under 60,000 followers. But obviously some folks weren't having enough fun on @BPGlobalPR, so they took the party over to @BP_America.

According to Fox News, the offending tweet was up on the official BP feed for only a brief time before it was caught by an eagle-eyed BP employee. As of early Thursday afternoon, the most recent tweet from @BP_America announcing progress on clean-up efforts.

Twitter has long been a popular platform for organizing protests, but the social network's big test arrived last year, when thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest results of a contentious presidential election. During the ensuing demonstrations, Twitter was useful as an organization tool, and also as a soapbox – many Western media sources were kept appraised of the events via tweets and photos posted to Twitter.

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