In a shocking incident, a false Twitter account proclaimed the death of former prime minister of India Manmohan Singh, reported News agency PTI. The fake account was made in the name of Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake. However, taking note of the tweet, the Sri Lanka minister lodged a complaint with the police to probe the account on Thursday. Karunanyake’s secretary Sisira Wijesinghe wrote a letter to the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). In the letter, he stated that there was a fake Twitter account in the name of the minister and it had falsely claimed the passing away of Manmohan Singh.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena replaced his foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera as the finance minister on Monday (May 22). Karunanayake’s shift from the Finance Ministry to Foreign Ministry had come as one of the major changes in the government’s first cabinet reshuffle since 2015. Within a week of this, the incident of his false Twitter account came to light. According to the reports, the hackers had published the tweet of Singh’s quoting foreign ministry spokesperson.
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It was only in January this year, the news agency IANS had reported that computer scientists have found massive collections of fake accounts on the micro-blogging site Twitter. It further suggested that one person or a group is managing these accounts. The report added that the networks were uncovered accidentally when some researchers were probing the social media platform Twitter to see how people use it. According to the probe’s result, some of the accounts were used to pad fake follower numbers, send spam and boost interest in trending topics. The largest of these networks that was found tied together more than 350,000 accounts and it was further suggested that others might be even bigger, reported IANS quoting a BBC report.