What do Associated Press, Al Jazeera, SVT (Swedish television), Sydsvenskan and Shanghai Daily have in common? They were all fooled by a prankster pretending to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swedish football striker, on Twitter.
AP seems to be the origin of the story which spread across mainstream media last night. Sydsvenskan writes that “according to AP, Zlatan is quite talkative on his twitter-blog” and quotes one tweet saying “I have won everything in Italy, its time to move on! I want the champions league title!”.
Shanghai Daily writes: Ibrahimovic appeared prepared to accept the move after writing “time to learn Spanish” on his Twitter page.
But if you have any knowledge about Ibrahimovic, you would do at least a little research before assuming that he is on Twitter. Microblogging would be a very un-Zlatan like thing to do since he keeps his private life to himself and for years have not have had a decent official webpage.
The first thing you would do is check if the Twitter account is a Verified Account. Sure, verified accounts have just recently been introduced for Twitter but it is a good way to secure that celebrities are the ones actually tweeting.
The second thing to do would be to search for Zlatan and Twitter on Google. That would immediately have revealed my blog post from June 22nd, which shows that in fact the Zlatan account is fake. For example, the “mobile photos” that he has posted are taken from a photo agency and from a TV documentary on YouTube.
This morning, Italian media write that Zlatan confirms that it is not him on Twitter. A Google translation of an article in Correire dello Sport:
“Zlatan Ibrahimović denies that he wrote the message on Twitter in which he expressed the intention to leave Inter. Swedish – as reported by the press Inter – said that they had not written anything on the site of microblogging. Ibrahimovic aims to trace the author of the ‘post’ ( ‘I have won everything in Italy, and’ Time to change. I want the Champions League! ‘) And see if there are means for obtaining financial compensation.”