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FACT CHECK: Viral screenshot of Twitter ‘disrespecting’ Buhari is fake

FACT CHECK: Viral screenshot of Twitter ‘disrespecting’ Buhari is fake
June 09
17:00 2021

A screenshot of a tweet in which Twitter was alleged to have said it is unfamiliar with Muhammadu Buhari’s position as Nigeria’s president has been circulating on social media platforms — and has been well shared.

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The tweet in question reads: “Dear @MBuhari We have no idea of who you are or what country you are leading, we have come across a tweet that violate our rule no 4 of ‘safety and freedom’ and removed it.”

The viral tweet was allegedly posted by Twitter’s official handle on June 4 around 6:55pm, the same day the federal government announced the suspension of the microblogging platform in Nigeria.

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The government had indefinitely suspended Twitter’s operations in the country over “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The suspension came days after the social media platform deleted a controversial tweet by Buhari where he made reference to the 1967 civil war.

NIGERIANS REACT TO THE VIRAL TWEET

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As the tweet circulated, many Nigerians on different social media platforms believed it to be true.

On Sunday, Imaobong Akpan Akpan, a radio presenter, posted a lengthy message on her Facebook timeline describing the viral tweet as offensive. Akpan has over 22,000 followers and more than 4,900 friends on Facebook.

Screenshot of Akpan’s page

“This is not just an insult to the President but an insult to Nigerians and Black Africa in General. Jack already took it personal, thus, I am okay with PMB reminding him of who he is and which country we are. Now that he is about to lose $11 Billion worth of market value from the country he passed as insignificant,” a part of her message reads.

The post has garnered 213 comments, 29 shares, and 162 reactions.

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Similarly, The Republican News, an online newspaper with over 126,000 followers, posted the alleged tweet on Facebook with the headline: “Twitter’s Response To Buhari is Most Agonising For Him.”

Also, a Twitter user @kingzabdou wrote: “So Twitter doesn’t even know who Buhari was, this sentence make me laugh in urdu, kikukopuuu.”

SoluhDo Di Aso, another Twitter user, also retweeted the viral image.

BUT IS THIS TWEET REAL?

Checks by TheCable showed that the last tweet posted by the official Twitter handle @Twitter was on May 28. The last interaction by the handle was a retweeted post, dated June 2, while the controversial post was on June 4.

Also, the official Twitter handle — @Twitter — begins with the capital letter “T”. However, in the purported tweet, the handle is written with the small letter “t” — @twitter.

TheCable also found out that the blue badge which appears next to the name of a verified account on Twitter actually turns to white in dark mode. The viral image shows a tweet written in a dark background with a blue verified badge which is different from the Twitter dark mode style.

The purported tweet also shows the settings icon at the top of the page. When a tweet is viewed, this icon does not show. Also, the timeline of a Twitter user does not contain the settings icon.

The real Twitter handle has capital ‘T’

Finally, the grammar gives it away. Check it again: “Dear @MBuhari We have no idea of who you are or what country you are leading, we have come across a tweet that violate our rule no 4 of ‘safety and freedom’ and removed it.”

There is supposed to be a comma after @MBuhari, or a full stop should have been used, to avoid what is grammatically known as “run-on” sentence (when two sentences run into each other without proper punctuation). Also, the noun, “a tweet”, should have been used with a plural verb; “violates” — not “violate”.

VERDICT: TheCable’s analysis of the viral screenshot points to the fact that the original tweet did not emanate from Twitter. The image was photoshopped and severely punctuated by schoolboy errors at every turn.

1 Comment

  1. R number
    R number June 09, 21:20

    I hope you can do same on kanus videos and comment when he puts up fake pictures of fulani with weapons in Mali and say it’s in Nigeria and so many other lies he told on his handle please don’t be one sided

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