Shoe Shiner Hands Over a City’s Twitter Account

April 25, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. register / ˈrɛdʒ ə stər/ (v.) – to enter or record information
Example: John registered an account on the social networking site.

2. potential /pəˈtɛn ʃəl/ (n.) – the quality of being capable to develop or become better
Example: He sees a lot of potential in me.

3. social media /ˈsoʊ ʃəl ˈmi di ə/ (n.) – websites or applications that allow people to share information
Example: You can share your photos on the social media.

4. respective /rɪˈspɛk tɪv/ (adj.) – belonging to a particular person or thing
Example: We went to our respective homes last night.

5. platform / ˈplæt fɔrm / (n.) – something that allows a person to share ideas or information to a huge population
Example:  We used the event as a platform to promote our product.


Read the text below.
The high-profile Twitter account @riodejaneiro has been handed over by its owner to the Brazilian authorities for free.

Javier Castano, a shoeshine man from Malaga, Spain, has given the authorities of Brazil the right to manage the said Twitter account to promote the Rio Olympics. Castano created the Twitter account back in 2007 after realizing the potential of the social networking site. 

Aside from @riodejaneiro, Castano also created the Twitter accounts @canada, @madrid, and @japan, all of which now have a tremendous amount of followers. After registering these accounts, the shoe shiner started communicating with different government units so he can officially transfer the ownership of the accounts.

At present, Castano has already given the accounts @canada and @madrid to their respective governments. He is currently working on transferring the account @japan to Japanese authorities. However, Japanese officials have expressed reservations about taking the account from Castano.

While Castano chose to hand over the Twitter accounts for free, other people actually earn by selling social media accounts. Israel Meléndez, for instance, earned a six-figure amount for selling @israel to the Israeli government. Another example is James Clegg, owner of a business that sells fake Twitter followers.

With its popularity, Twitter is now used as a platform for promoting products and services. Other government units also use Twitter to promote tourism. Rio de Janeiro, for example, uses its account to promote the city’s tourist spots, culture, food, and its well-known events.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were Javier Castano, would you also give the Twitter accounts for free? Why or why not?
·         Aside from advertising and promotions, how else can Twitter be used?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the advantages of using social media? Kindly discuss your answer.
·         In your opinion, what will be the future of social media? Kindly explain briefly.

April 25, 2015