Twitter hoaxer raises alarm with false report of Benedict XVI's passing

Pope Benedict XVI Credit: © L’Osservatore Romano | Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City on August 28, 2010.

A bogus Twitter account using the name of Georg Bätzing, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference, tweeted a false report Monday that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had died.

The account, using the handle @BischofBatzing, was later removed. Before disappearing, the same account posted that the false report on the passing of the still-living 95-year-old retired pope was the work of infamous Italian Twitter hoaxer Tommasso De Benedetti.

Twitter screenshot.
Twitter screenshot.

"Twitter works well for deaths," De Benedetti told The Guardian in 2012. "Social media is the most unverifiable information source in the world but the news media believes it because of its need for speed."

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.