Boy’s 8,000 unauthorized Twitter accounts net him energy drink bottle lotto bonanza

Kyodo

A high school boy from Saitama Prefecture created some 8,000 Twitter accounts to participate in a lottery over the Internet and won some 70 bottles of an energy drink, it was learned Friday.

Twitter prohibits individuals from creating multiple accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes. Experts warn the case could be regarded as fraud.

According to the boy’s high school, he used some of the accounts to participate in a lottery campaign launched by FamilyMart Co. this month and won some 70 bottles of the energy drink in a couple of days. The firm allows only one entry a day per person and does not allow someone to win more than one bottle a week.

The high school learned of the case from another student who said the boy bragged about his actions on Twitter. The boy reportedly said he created the accounts using an automatic account creation application he obtained from someone he became acquainted with over the Internet.

The Saitama Prefectural Police, whom the boy’s mother consulted, said they will not investigate the case because the boy has apologized and the firm did not report the case to the police. FamilyMart said it was regretful the boy won the lottery in a way that was not intended by the firm.

“Maybe he wanted to show off his computer techniques. There are more and more people who cannot judge what is right and what is wrong,” said Yoji Ochiai, a lawyer well-versed in troubles over the Internet, calling for the need to instill in children a sense of morals in using the Internet.

  • Scott Reynolds

    How about: Saitama Prefectural Police will not investigate the case because no laws were broken. If Family Mart wants to disqualify this kid from participating in future lottery promotions because he broke their rules, or if Twitter wants to ban him for life for violating their TOS, that is their right. But talk about “morals” seems totally out of place here. This looks like nothing more than another boring story about out-of-touch grown-ups getting worked up because kids are more tech-savvy than they are. That this is being reported by the media as a “news story” is pretty amazing, frankly.

    • phu

      I do think morality is relevant here, if only because the kid almost certainly understood that what he was doing was against both the spirit and the terms of the competition, but did it anyway. Granted: This is pretty much just part of being young and stupid, but it should still be regarded as behavior to be corrected, hopefully by his parents.

      The people involved in running the contest or involved with handling this incident may or may not be out of touch with current tech, but the basic issue is that the kid clearly didn’t care about the rules (the idea that he didn’t understand the difference between right and wrong, the lawyer quote from the article, is obviously crap) and went ahead violating them with self-interest as his only motivation.

      That said, I agree, this isn’t news. A kid spammed Twitter and won energy drinks, bragged, got caught, and lied about being sorry… it’s about as newsworthy as a Japanese variety show.

  • J.P. Bunny

    Of course the police won’t investigate the case as they are too busy protecting us from “obscene” data lurking on computer discs, and kayaks in the shape of private parts. How do we know that this kid won’t drink all 70 bottles at once, get hyped up on energy stuff, go on a mad rampage, and draw male private parts on public walls? The police need to get tough on everybody.

    • phu

      SHH! A few more comments like this and we’ll have a new State Secret Energy Drinks law, in which you are only allowed to possess [REDACTED] energy drinks at a time and consume [REDACTED] drinks in any given [REDACTED]-hour period.

      Sorry, we’d tell you how many and how long, but that could put national security at risk. We can’t tell you why. Don’t worry, though; we won’t abuse it.

  • Ahojanen

    The boy could have been much better off had he not wasted his brain (if any), time and energy for a cheap scheme of getting 70 bottles of drink. Free food and drinks are available elsewhere.