Fake Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter is no more

Malmös store son hyllas Regular readers of this blog know that I have been ranting about how someone pretending to be Swedish football forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter has managed to fool Italian and international media at several occasions. Well, no more. The account @therealZlatan11 has now been suspended, or the prankster himself/herself decided to close the account.

If this Twitter account will be missed, fear not. Here are some other not-so-real versions of “Ibra” on Twitter:



and last but not least:

http://twitter.com/Zlatansofficial with 18,000 followers!

Footnote: Photo by Bengavoice.

Fake Zlatan on Twitter continues to fool Italian media

Seriously Italy, get with the Twitter programme. Once again an Italian newspaper has been fooled by a prankster, pretending to be AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter. This time it is the Naples based daily Il Mattino that quotes the Twitter account “@therealZlatan11” in an article with the headline “The latest provocation by Ibra. Twitter: Aronica, nobody knows”.

Il Mattino, calls Ibra “cool and cocky”. Not entirely convinced, but suspecting this is the real Ibra, the paper says that he posted the following tweets after the Monday night game between Napoli and AC Milan (about Napoli defender Salvatore Aronica):

zlatan on twitter

But really, it doesn’t take a genius to determine that this is as fake as a Twitter account gets. The English is lousy and way too provocative even for a person with Zlatan’s record of getting in trouble. And a simple Google search would reveal several blog posts pointing out the blinding obvious fact that Zlatan doesn’t have a Twitter account. Previous cases with fake quotes include AP and Sky Italia.

Fact checking, better than guessing?

Mino Raiola: Zlatan does not have a profile on Twitter

Once again, a leading news outlet has quoted a fake Twitter account, thinking it belongs to the Swedish football striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This time it was the Italian sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport that quoted Ibra, saying he had tweeted about a possible injury but that he calmed fans that he was ok.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, has categorically denied that his client has an account on Twitter and Milannews.it says that Raiola once again had denied such an account exists.

“Zlatan has no profile on Twitter and, therefore, it may not have been him writing those things,” Raiola supposedly told Sky Sports. (my translation)

The account that had been quoted by Gazzetta dello Sport is @therealZlatan11, a poorly executed prank with clunky English and even some early quotes in Swedish, obviously translated with Google Translate. One tweet has translated the word “calcio” into “kalcium”, which is Swedish for calcium. In another tweet, fake Zlatan says that “the boat will win the Champions League” (“båten kommer att bli mästare i Champions League”).

Previous mistakes in the fake Zlatan category include Sky Italia and AP.

Hat tip to Expressen.

Sky Italia quotes fake Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter

For some celebrities, social media has proven to be very useful communication channels that reach fans directly. They can communicate their point of view without running the risk that traditional media misinterpret or distort the message. When actor Jim Carrey announced that he and Jenny McCarthy would break up, he didn’t issue a press release. Instead, he simpy tweeted:

“Jenny and I have just ended our 5yr relationship. I’m grateful 4 the many blessings we’ve shared and I wish her the very best! S’okay! ?;^>”

With a simple tweet, he could reach millions of readers before traditional media had time to react. But not everything on Twitter is what it seems to be. Carrey has a verified account on Twitter, which certifies that it is actually The Jim Carrey that is tweeting (or someone he has hired to do so). So if a celebrity doesn’t have a verified Twitter account, you should probably think twice before you assume it is the real thing.

zlatan ibrahimovic twitter

I have blogged before about how AP, Al Jazeera and a bunch of other media quoted a fake Zlatan Ibrahimovic account on Twitter. It didn’t take much work to prove it was fake. And yesterday it happened again as media started to cover the Champions League game tonight between AC Milan and Zlatan’s old club Ajax. Italian tv channel Sky Italia quoted @therealZlatan11 in an article that suggests that “Ibra” had tweeted “I cheer for the success of Ajax, but not tomorrow”.

Of course this is not the real Ibrahimovic. He has never been active online and certainly not on Twitter. You would only need to click on the link in the Twitter bio to see that the link is not to an official site, but to a rather poor fansite from the Netherlands.

If traditional media are going to use celebrities in social media as sources for news, they need to put a little more effort in to research to verify that the source is correct. Otherwise they will look pretty foolish.

Footnote: Thanks to http://twitter.com/ItalianMeetup for the scoop about Sky Italia.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not on Twitter

As the Swedish football striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic this weekend declared that he is leaving FC Barcelona for AC Milan, my blog posts about the fake “Ibra” on Twitter” has gotten tons of traffic. I guess it’s a natural reaction nowadays – a player is discussed frequently in the media and fans want to know if he is on Twitter so that they can follow his updates directly.

However, the first result in a Google search is a Twitter account: “@zlatans_official”, but is not the real “Ibra”. Now that doesn’t stop 9,000 people from following the fake account on Twitter. The prankster got almost 600 new followers yesterday and has gained more than 1,500 new followers in the last two months. And the account is not even active. I think that demonstrates the strong demand among consumers for direct communication from celebrities. That, and the fact that we’re all very easy to fool. (Ping AP!)


Stats from Twittercounter.com. I’m @kullin on Twitter by the way. I might not be spectacular, but I’m real.

AP quoted fake Zlatan on Twitter

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.”

Hat tip: Robert Laul and David Hylander.

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