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Large-Scale Twitter Attack Against Emmanuel Macron Uncovered.

J.N. PAQUET photo
J.N. PAQUETLondon
Large-Scale Twitter Attack Against Emmanuel Macron Uncovered.
Belgian social media expert Nicolas Vanderbiest has uncovered yesterday what was a large-scale Twitter attack against the independent centrist candidate for the French Presidential election, Emmanuel Macron.

The photo of a page from investigative journalism magazine Mediapart showing a blog post allegedly explaining that Mr Macron may be "the new Cahuzac" (referring to President Holland's former budget minister who was jailed for fraud last year) was tweeted and retweeted online yesterday, social media specialist Nicolas Vanderbiest, who works at the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, explained on Twitter this morning.

75 fake Twitter accounts created (@Nico_VanderB)

Within a matter of hours, 75 fake Twitter accounts were apparently created in order to spread the fake tweet and spread the fake news using Twitter's Tweetdeck dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. Using Tweetdeck means that the owners of the fake accounts were able to send the very same tweet via multiple accounts at the same time, and so, spreading the fake news quicker on the social network.

In order to avoid being caught, they also made sure that the fake accounts would be supporting different candidates in the Presidential election. It would have been too obvious to find out who did it otherwise.

They then created another fake account that tweeted the same fake news "tagging" directly influential sovereignists and nationalists on Twitter, who in turn started to spread the news they thought was true (because they didn't take the time to check the article actually existed before retweeting it!).

As the fake news spread over the internet, people supporting Mr Macron started to mention it too, denying the allegations, which created yet more appetite to know more about the independent candidate's fake Cahuzac-like affair...



It is very likely that the author of the post, a so-called Jean-Michel Soris, does not actually exist at all and that the post has been written and posted with the firm intention of harming Mr Macron's campaign and turning the tide upside-down just a week before the election.

Remember how the FBI Director James Comey's letter to the House Judiciary Committee announcing the discovery of new emails in Hillary Clinton's emails investigation just a few days before the election may have contributed to getting Donald Trump in the White House.

Whilst the tweet was claiming that the article was from the latest edition of Mediapart, it is important to notice that this was not an article, but a simple blog post. Furthermore, at the bottom of the post, as for every other blog post on the magazine's website, Mediapart very clearly states that "Le Club" (the magazine's blog page) is a space of freedom of speech for the magazine subscribers. However, the magazine is not responsible for the content of the blog posts.

It means that Mediapart does not monitor the blog posts and that that particular post isn't an official Mediapart investigation, contrary to what the tweet claimed.

Fake news exposed!

Emmanuel Macron's campaign team have been contacted to comment further on this incident.

(This article was first published on Politics Magazine PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)

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J.N. PAQUET is an author, journalist and political writer. He is the editor of PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. His book series on populism and nationalism “The Tip of The Populist Iceberg?” is available in print, eBook and audiobook worldwide.




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