In April 2016, thousands of people flocked to Target’s social media profiles to complain about a policy that allowed transgender individuals to use the restroom which corresponded with their gender identity. While many customers received earnest responses from genuine Target customer service representatives, others were contacted by accounts that were not associated with the store.
The above-displayed image, for instance, was not posted by an official Target account. The image was posted by @Customer_Assist, or a similar Twitter account, whose purpose was to troll individuals (in this case, angry people opposed to Target’s bathroom policy):
This Twitter account is not the official customer service account of Target stores. @Customer_Assist was created a few days after Target confirmed its policy, and doesn’t carry the blue “verified” symbol that appears on Target’s official account.
Target’s official customer service Twitter account can be found at @AskTarget. That account has also been responding to complaints, but these responses are much more diplomatic than those employed above:
The @AskTarget account also denied that the viral curt response came from an official Target representative:
This isn’t the first time that someone has impersonated customer service agents online. Fraudulent “customer service” representatives insulted customers who criticized Campbell’s Soup after the company produced a video of two gay dads, ridiculed those opposed to Dorito’s “rainbow chips,” and mocked people who complained about Target’s gender-neutral clothing.