If you’re wondering why the Associated Press tweeted that there was an explosion at the White House, it’s because its account was hacked. As of now, the account is suspended, and there’s no word yet on who was behind the hack.
Whoever it was, this hack represents a scary example of how dangerous infiltrated Twitter accounts can be. The AP is a trusted news source, so incendiary tweets may convince people that something horrible is happening, and may result in panic. This time around at least, most people on Twitter caught on that something was amiss, and AP journalists used the platform to assure readers that there was nothing to worry about.
Please Ignore AP Tweet on explosions, we’ve been hacked.
— Sam Hananel (@SamHananelAP) April 23, 2013
The news wire also took to other social media sites like Facebook to warn readers about false posts, stating “The Associated Press Twitter account (@AP) has been hacked. Please do not respond to news posted there in the last 20 minutes.”
But even though the hack was short-lived, it still caused a flurry in the finance world, as shown by a tweet from @southpaw.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) April 23, 2013