Reports of Barack Obama’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Fox News said that on Monday morning its Twitter feed covering political news was hacked, with tweets posted reporting the death of the president. The tweets stated that Obama had been shot in a restaurant in Iowa while on the campaign trail.
On its website, Fox News said that “hackers sent out several malicious and false tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated.”
The news organization was keen to point out that the president is, in fact, alive and well and enjoying the Fourth of July holiday together with his family at the White House.
The first of six false tweets was sent out at two o’clock ET Monday morning, saying: “@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Obama is dead”.
This was soon followed by another: “@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out”.
False tweet number three said: “@BarackObama shot twice at a Ross’ restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family.” Regards? Not condolences? Any readers who hadn’t been suspecting the validity of the tweets must surely have been raising an eyebrow or two by this point.
The next tweet stated: “The shooter will be found”, followed by another saying: “2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It’s a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP”.
In the final tweet, the hackers wished Joe Biden “the best of luck as our new President of the United States.” According to the BBC, responsibility for the hack has been claimed by a relatively unknown group calling itself The Script Kiddies.
Vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital Jeff Misenti said on the Fox News website: “We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts.”