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"Princess Ka‘iulani" Twitter acct masquerading as an official State of Hawaii account...


...but it's probably NOT an account coming from the Hawaii Tourism Authority as I suspected (quite publicly) earlier.

Yesterday I posted an entry describing the unpleasant surprise I experienced when I thought I had discovered that a newly formed Twitter account, "Princess Ka‘iulani" was a shill for the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  The account only had four tweets to its (royal) name and those were travel and "affordable vacation" type posts.  The account lists gohawaii.com which was registered by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Well, I got this email this afternoon:

Aloha e Doug,

My name is Keli'i Wilson and I am the Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs at the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.  I saw your blog about the Princess Ka'iulani Twitter page.  I have to say that I agree with you completely, it is very insensitive to use our Ali'i in that way.  However, I must let you know that the page, the campaign or whatever else they are trying to promote is in no way affiliated with the HTA or with our marketing partner, the HVCB.  We have just been alerted about this twitter account though your comments and are currently taking all the steps necessary to contact the owner of the page.  We are not only concerned about the fact that the account could be perceived as one that is affiliated with the HTA through its listing of the gohawaii.com website but we are also concerned that someone is using Princess Ka'iulani's name to promote travel to Hawai'i in general. The HTA is a stakeholder in the State's Tourism Strategic Plan: 2005 - 2015 which has a Hawaiian Culture Initiative laying out a number of goals such as being sensitive to the host culture.  We have been making every effort to make sure that we are honoring this initiative.  Please give me a call to chat.

mahalo nui,

Keli'i

OK, I think she's telling the truth.  The real owner is more likely some tourist-related business trying to establish the account by appearing to be a bona fide State of Hawaii entity (by listing the agency's website link) to gather followers before disseminating commercially self-serving information.

But this raises some interesting questions: Who is the "real" Princess Ka‘iulani -- who is the real owner of the account?  Is there legal recourse?  Is there a way to prevent an account from using your website URL?  Anyone know this info or how to ferret it out?

H. Doug Matsuoka
27 June 2011
Makiki, Honolulu

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