AP Twitter account hacked, reports Obama injured in explosion

The Associated Press Twitter account was hacked yesterday and for a few short minutes, the nearly two million AP followers were taken for a dramatic ride.

Following the hack, a “tweet” was posted saying two explosions had occurred in the White House and that President Barack Obama is injured.

Screenshot via Twitter user @hiway

It was quickly revealed that the information was false, as reported by Forbes, although the dramatic tweet was retweeted thousands of times within minutes. And in a show of how skittish the markets are, the Dow Industrial Average lost about 140 points immediately following the false tweet.

In a briefing that occurred after the erroneous tweet appeared, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that “the president is fine, I was just with him,” according to NBC News.

Julie Pace, AP’s chief White House correspondent, reiterated during the briefing that “anything that was just sent out about any incident at the White House is actually false.”

Or, in other words, business as usual?

The AP account was quickly suspended, and Forbes astutely noted that “the hacking suggests two features that Twitter desperately needs: better security through two-factor authentication and an editorial function that allows account holders to post corrections to tweets that contain false information.”

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Tom Tillison


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