Safaricom, through an official statement, yesterday replied to a blog post doing rounds on the internet, claiming that its online competitions #SafFunFriday, was rigged.
The statement, released by, Nzioka Waita, Director, Corporate Affairs, Safaricom, first states that it is specifically addressing the ‘SafFunFriday’ competition.
“We wish to address online customers complaints in relation to our recently ‘SafFunFriday’ social media promotion,” Waita’s states
The statement however clears Safaricom of any wrong doing, noting that the promotion was taken over by hackers who used ‘internet bots’.
“Following a thorough audit of all the activities involved in the running and subsequent evaluation of the short list for the winners we have established that the social media activation was compromised by one or possibly several of tech-savvy individuals who deployed “internet bots” to increase their chances of winning the competition,” Waita states
The statement further explains thus: “Internet bots are online applications that perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a person to do alone. This translated to a single user being able to increase their chances of winning during online promotions; the equivelant of registering several times under different names to participate a competition in real life. We have further established that the same bots have been used in several other social media based competitions ran by other organizations.”
The telco however, goes on to take some responsibility for the attack, acknowledging that it should have been more aware of what was taking place in the system.
“We accept the fact that we should have been more vigilant in identifying the use of these “bots” by unscrupulous persons and we apologize unreservedly for any inconvenience that those competing fairly in the said online promotion may have suffered. We wish to assure all our followers on twitter that we have taken the appropriate steps to ensure that this does not happen again during any of our future online promotion,” Waita’s statement concludes.
The statement comes after Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, responded to the blog post by replying to a tweet by Kennedy Mureithi (@KenMureithi) using his personal twitter account.
Mureithi posted a short message to Collymore’s twitter page where he also tagged both of Safaricom’s official twitter handles and put a link to the particular blog post.
@KenMureithi tweeted: “I would want to know what @SafaricomLtd @Safaricom_Care and @bobcollymore got to say https://eugeneqaana.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/the-safcom-scams/ …”
In response, Collymore stated that the problem had been noted and would be dealt with.
@bobcollymore tweeted: “@kenmureithi My team is carrying out a detailed investigation and I’ll comment thereafter. @safaricom_care @safaricomltd.”
The blog post, written by the Murram Road Chronicles’ blogger, Eugene Kaana, alleges that Safaricom has been using its promotional competitions to scam its unwitting customers, with the latest, an online competition by Safaricom, branded; #SafFunFriday, causing the bloggers fury.
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