Fake Twitter account claimed Daniel Radcliffe tested positive for coronavirus
The Twitter account posed as BBC’s news alert section and the tweet stayed undetected for at least seven hours.
One major problem related to the coronavirus other than it being a pandemic, is misinformation on social media. This led to a fake BBC account on Twitter managing to fool people by falsely claiming that Hollywood actor Daniel Radcliffe has been tested positive for coronavirus.
The Twitter account's handle had the BBC News logo with the names 'BBC Breaking News' and BBCNewsTonight. The tweet read, "BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus. The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed." There was a link for the story as well with the url "bbc.co.uk" which was actually a genuine site that hasn't been updated since 2017.
But more surprising than the fake news was how long it stayed undetected on Twitter. According to a report by CNET, the tweet was shared around 762 times and had around 1,000 likes. This tweet was also around for seven hours on Twitter until it was removed and the account was suspended.
It's understandable that the news appeared genuine because it was from a global news publication. But one easy giveaway would have been that the Twitter handle did not have a verified tick. All major news publications have the verified tick on Twitter. Also, this tweet even managed to fool journalists from the New York Times and Politico who retweeted it.
Twitter announced last week the different measures it's taking around information on coronavirus. The micro-blogging site said it is continuously monitoring conversation on the coronavirus and working to make genuine information and facts more visible to users. But for a fake news as big as involving a "famous person" going undetected on Twitter for hours is surprising.
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