Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conned at the 'Con:' Why the New York City Comic Con messed up

It's not unheard of for promoters to ask members of the media to send out a couple of tweets, or Facebook posts or the like when they issues a media credential to a large show or convention.

Journalists most likely are going to do that anyway, notifying their audience where they'll be and what to check out in the future.

Promoters for the New York City Comic Con went way above that this year, and did so in a sneaky way. The promoters put RFID chips in their badges, for media, staff, speakers, and most importantly customers.

The problem with that is that they then told those people to link their social media accounts to the badge, under the guise of theft protection. Once these accounts were linked though, posts and tweets were then sent out everytime the badge was waved at an access point.

Technically they did nothing illegal, hiding the details in the fine print, but it's still not right. I had been thinking about going to the convention next year, but after this debacle, I think I'll go to Pittsburgh or Boston instead. Sure they aren't as big of shows, but at least they are honest.

In a statement to gaming site Polygon, convention organizers made an apology, but i say too little too late. The damage was already done.

"As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered," the organizers said. "This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep. Please accept our apologies and have an absolutely excellent time this weekend."

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