Edward Snowden death hoax: Another case of social media jumping the gun

FP Staff May 07, 2015 15:07:54 IST
Edward Snowden death hoax: Another case of social media jumping the gun

"Former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden was found dead few minutes ago in his home. No details," (sic) said a Twitter account  on Wednesday. The account  also claimed to be the official Twitter account of Vladimir Kolokoltsev, the Interior Minister of Russian Federation.

Edward Snowden death hoax Another case of social media jumping the gun

Edward Snowden in a file photo. AP

The tweet quickly spread through Twitter upsetting the supporters of the NSA whistleblower and creating a frenzy.

But soon it was made clear that the account, with more than eight thousand followers, was a hoax. And this is not the first time such an act has been pulled by its creator.

Tommaso De Benedetti has, under various fake accounts, announced deaths of Pope Benedict, Fidel Castro and Pedro Almodóvar in the past.

He has also Tweeted under the pseudonym of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, a Spanish minister and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

"Twitter works well for deaths," said De Benedetti, speaking for the first time about his desire to expose how unreliable social media can be as a news source, in an interview with the Guardian.

The Gurdian also lists out past tweets by De Benedetti under various pseudonym:

@CardBertone: His holiness Benedict XVI has passed away. We announce the news with great pain and consternation. 8 March 2012

@PresHamidKarzai: The attack agains Afghan civ is an act of war. 12 March

@presMarioMonti: The news of the death of Fidel Castro has been confirmed to me by EU vicepresident Olli Rehn. 6 March

@MinistroMontoro: The Spanish government announces the death of the director Pedro Almodovar. 23 March

@PresAssadSyria: Documents published yesterday by a Uk newspaper are hoaxes created agaist Syria and my family. 19 March

And this is not even the first time Edward Snowden has been declared dead by social media.

In 2013, a fake account under the name of Gleen Greenward, the Guardian journalist who broke the Snowden story, under @ggreenwild, claimed that Snowden was "confirmed dead" (and that too in a drone strike). The story was re-tweeted by many journalists, believing it to be true, reports the Mashable.

Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), is currently living in Russia.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

In a first, Republican-led Senate rejects Donald Trump's veto of $740 bn defence policy Bill
World

In a first, Republican-led Senate rejects Donald Trump's veto of $740 bn defence policy Bill

Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying the Senate missed an opportunity to eliminate protections for social media platforms that give 'unlimited power to Big Tech companies'

India’s S-400 deal with Russia may trigger US sanctions, says congressional report
India

India’s S-400 deal with Russia may trigger US sanctions, says congressional report

In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems