Earlier this evening the Associated Press deactivated its Twitter account after a bogus tweet claimed there had been two explosions at the White House, injuring President Barack Obama. The “news” – and I’m using those quote marks on purpose – spread like a virus and within three minutes the US stock market plunged.
AP and the White House denied the tweets, with the AP saying in a statement their accounts had been hacked. Other news outlets including SBS News programmes, and NPR and BBC accounts have also been targeted in recent days, it seems by a radical Islamic group with ties to Syria.
Just one of the thousands of tweets about the story, from Sky News
Reuters: The FBI is investigating the hack of the Associated Press Twitter account which sent a rogue tweet about explosions at White House
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) April 23, 2013
It’s a lot more difficult of course to hi-jack the front page of a newspaper.