Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Twitter DIDN'T Delete Donald Trump's Twitter Account

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:46:29 Z)

Fake news website cnn.com.de (which has nothing to do with the real cnn.com) ran a story on january 10th 2017 claiming Twitter was going to delete Donald Trump's twitter account "somewhere within the next 48 hours" because of "Trump's racist and divisive rhetoric".

Trump's response, according to the fake article, was as follows:

President-elect Trump released an official response in which he called the company's plan "laughable" and advised the people at Twitter to "tread lightly, because [he] is already working with [his] attorneys to resolve the situation," a situation that Mr. Trump says will end "very badly" for anyone who tries to silence him.

LeadStories was unable to find any trace of this "official response" anywhere else on the internet. Similarily no trace could be found of the statements of "Paul Horner, spokesman for Twitter" who allegedly said:

Twitter will not tolerate active users, whose only message is one of hate, racism and intolerance. Donald Trump may have been elected to the White House, but at least someone can stand up to him, for the American people and say, 'No Mr. Trump, we are not with you'.

Paul Horner does in fact exist: he is a well known writer for fake news websites. But he definitely does not work at Twitter. The fake article goes on and makes the claim that Trump already set up a spare account in case his main one gets deleted (something which would violate Twitter's TOS):

A source close to the Trump transition team has told CNN News that President-elect Trump has already set up a new Twitter account, @WHDonaldTrump, which the president-elect plans to begin using immediately after Twitter shuts down his primary account. That same source also said that if Twitter shuts down that account, he will simply keep making more new accounts.

The @WHDonaldTrump account currently has 1 follower and no tweets, and Trump's actual account @realDonaldTrump has made no mention of it. At of the time of writing Trump's account is still online and posting tweets:

The kicker comes at the end of the article:

Twitter has setup a hotline for those wishing to voice any concerns or comments over the company's impending ban of Donald Trump. That hotline's phone number is (785) 273-0325.

That phone number is not affiliated with Twitter in any way. In fact it belongs to the Westboro Baptist Church so it seems the author of the article is just trying to get angry Trump supporters flood them with calls.

Follow the spread of this fake news article by checking this graph generated using Trendolizer:

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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