Thatcher is NOT dead. False news of former British Prime Minister’s death spreads on Twitter

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

If Margaret Thatcher was to die, would you expect the news to first emerge from the French media rather than the British?

And, if you were a French media outlet actively posting news via Twitter, would you believe an unverified account claiming to be Carla Bruni if she was the one to reveal the news of the demise of Britain’s former Prime Minister “officially”?

Unfortunately, @LesNews did mistakenly report the death of Margaret Thatcher this evening – causing rumours of her death to sweep across the service, but strangely no confirmation from any other news outlets.

A little digging revealed that the news appeared to have originated from an unofficial-looking account claiming to belong to Carla Bruni, the wife of recently deposed French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The @CBruniOfficial Twitter account, which you will notice does not carry a “verified” icon, announced the “news” of Thatcher’s death, claiming that it had just been announced by the British Ambassador. I don’t…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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