April 23rd, 2013
01:56 PM ET
10 years ago

A false tweet heard around the web

(CNN) – A tweet by the nation’s largest newswire about a catastrophe at the White House was nearly immediately shot down as false on Tuesday.

The Associated Press message read, "Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."

The group Syrian Electronic Army, behind previous hacks of the BBC and CBS News, claimed responsibility for the false message on its website.

While some took the post seriously, other Twitter users seemed to recognize the message as false almost immediately. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped sharply on the news however, though quickly regained its losses when the report was deemed false.

At the daily White House briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney noted the president was fine.

"I was just with him," Carney added.

The AP's White House Correspondent Julie Pace also noted the tweet was the result of a hacked account.

"It appears as though AP's Twitter account has been hacked, so anything that was just sent out about any incident at the White House is obviously false," she said.

The official AP Twitter account, @AP, was listed as "suspended" on the social media site soon after the erroneous Tweet was sent.

Multiple news organizations and reporters have dealt with hackers on Twitter in the past, including CBS News earlier this week.

Filed under: President Obama • Twitter
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Fred Evil

    just sayin
    'He sure came into office with a mess on his hands from the previous eight years'
    and made things worse,

    If you truly think that, I'm amazed you've figured out how to use the internet. Willful stoopidity is inexcusable.

    April 23, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. jake

    "vand made things worse, didn't fix anything. obama has surpassed carter as the worse all time presidents. now all the terrorist attacks. obamacare will finish him and all of us off."

    to just sayin:

    you must live under a rock. everything is improving – house prices, housing starts, jobs, wages, stock prices, on and on and on. just because you live in a single-wide and lost your job at Wal-Mart for drinking on the job is no reason to dis the president – just sayin'.........

    April 23, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Reason714

    Are you people that gullible? You buy/sell on a tweet? Do you also buy/sell on facebook info? Idiots...

    April 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Theseus

    hahaha, the power of modern journalism. This just in... I'm President now.

    April 23, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. reldra

    Our president is fine, a normal person would say 'glad to know he's ok and this was a false alarm." Why bring into it twitter or vacation days (which he has taken less than a third of bush) or other weird things. He is our president, we need him to be ok. We want nothing like that to actually happen. Something has changed in this country when people openly disrespect our Commander in Chief. Our leader. Commander of the armed forces. Debate about how the government is run is one thing, but personal disrespect shows you were just not brought up right-or you definitely didn't listen to your parents. My mother is a liberal attorney- UC Berkleey. No matter what president was in office, she told me to never disrespect the President.

    April 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. cp

    When news organizations need to use social media to get the news we know we are in trouble. The chances of the story being wrong are pretty high. Somehow social media users need to remember that the truth trumps the authors need to pass on a story.

    Every day stories are passed along. These stories cause damage and yet no one seems to say enough is enough, Obviously some people think this is fun but those effected by the stories do not.

    April 23, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. GOP = Greed Over People

    I think what is more telling, is that Wall Street views Twitter as a valid news source.

    God help us all, if the news is longer than 140 characters!

    April 23, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Anonymous


    I'm so depressed knowing this is false!
    You'll find somebody to comfort you at the Klan meeting. When you look in the mirror and see an evil racist staring back – be ashamed of what you have become. The life of a hateful bigot is a wasted.

    April 23, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. oneisis

    it was a fake tweet, but that didnt stop CNN from reporting it as fact, claiming the suspects were arrested and then blaming it all on reddit

    April 23, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Namejdr

    Linda, keep making stupid comments and you will have the FBI at your door.

    April 23, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Just more fodder for more conspiracy nutjobs.

    April 23, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. KH

    I saw this tweet earlier today...not from the AP but from The Onion. Of course it isn't true.

    April 23, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Name Uche Agonsi

    We can live with that. Have anyone wondered how much polution like this oozes out of the media these days. They are all environmental hazards.

    April 23, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Anthony in California

    I'm so depressed knowing this is false!

    Wow. Did you act that way when JFK passed away?


    April 23, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  15. Anthony in California

    @just sayin
    and made things worse, didn't fix anything. obama has surpassed carter as the worse all time presidents. now all the terrorist attacks. obamacare will finish him and all of us off.

    You keep telling yourself that, while reality keeps saying the opposite.

    But no one takes anything you say seriously anyways, just spew your hate and stay miserable.

    April 23, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  16. norma jean

    'THINK AGAIN"...... I must wonder why you ride the president for playing golf occasionally and "not working" !!...You spend so much time writing comments that you obviously get NO work done at all...Of course you aren't president....and aren't we lucky!!!!

    April 23, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Ketsui

    Aww poor terrorists can't actually touch us so they resort to online posting their dreams of terror. Sorry guys you'll never Hurt us we are superior in every way. Quit hating and work on improving your dung pile countries instead

    April 24, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  18. Anon

    Don't believe everything your "friends" post on social media, lol.

    April 24, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  19. Larry L

    @just sayin

    He sure came into office with a mess on his hands from the previous eight years

    and made things worse, didn't fix anything. obama has surpassed carter as the worse all time presidents. now all the terrorist attacks. obamacare will finish him and all of us off.
    No other President faced such a mess – with a deep recession, two un-funded wars, a healthcare crisis, and the Republican Party absolutely dedicated to obstruction and failure – for their own stinking political gain. He had closet racists attacking him from every direction (look in the mirror). The President did well in spite of Republican sabotage – breaking the back of the recession, killing Bin Laden (and many other terrorists), and managing some crisis scenarios with maturity and wisdom. Much unlike "Mission Accomplished".

    April 24, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  20. Larry L

    @just sayin

    "obama has surpassed carter as the worse all time presidents"
    The hands-down, worst President of all time was of course George W. Bush – the guy you folks won't even invite to your meetings or speak about anymore. The guy who got elected by crooks in Florida. He started two un-funded wars with no exit strategy that got 4,500 Service-Members killed. He and his fellow draft-dodger "Uncle Dick" falsified intelligence data and should go to prison as war criminals. They had constant illegal influence on Halliburton's contracts and were also a part of the Enron scam. They cut taxes and spent like fools – driving our economy into the toilet. "W" made America look foolish – trying to give the Chancellor of Germany a neck-rub in front of cameras at the G-8 meeting. She shook him off like bird poop. No contest...

    April 24, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. Richard

    The media seems to be worried about the AP website. I am more stunned by the ease with which the stock exchanges fell for this, and the effect this had on the market: how many small to medium investors got stung badly by "stop-loss" procedures sold by the brokers?

    April 24, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  22. Marie MD

    This tells us all there is to tell about "social" networking and the fools who cling to twitter and facebook to tell us everything we could care less about their lives.

    April 24, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  23. Jerry

    To Linda: Don't forget that that if Obama was hurt, we would probably end up with "The Mouth Biden" calling the shots. OMG! Obama is bad, but the "The Mouth Biden" is much, much worst.

    Heaven forbid that it would be Obama and "The Mouth Biden" that got hurt; then we would possibly end up with "Bobble Head Pelosi" calling the shots. For sure, América would be doomed!!!

    April 24, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  24. Lee

    I would have expected the markets to rally on that tweet....

    April 24, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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