Twitter has confirmed that an elaborate campaign called “Don’t Believe Every Tweet” is fake and has nothing to do with the company.
The project launched over the weekend with a convincing press release featuring a “statement” from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
It read: “Twitter is an amazing platform for communication that has literally changed the world. But in order for it to work right, people can’t get sucked into all the fake news and conspiracy theories so many of our users (especially Russian bots) post.”
The statement said Twitter was “excited to announce the launch of our new #dontbelieveeverytweet campaign. It’s a simple reminder to be skeptical of everything you see on Twitter because our users can put literally anything in a tweet.”
A website and Twitter account were also set up, where more (fake) quotes from Dorsey were shared:
To top it all off, comedian Greg Barris starred in a promotional advert, which urged: “Not every expert is an expert.”
All in all, it was a pretty impressive campaign and some Twitter users thought it was the real deal, while a handful of news outlets wrote articles about it:
However, a spokesperson for Twitter has now confirmed it was all an elaborate prank.
Following their confirmation of the hoax, it didn’t take long for a TV writer to step forward and reveal himself as the culprit.
Nathan Gotsch told Variety that he was inspired by Twitter’s recent handling of Alex Jones and Infowars.
Twitter gave Jones a seven day suspension last month, stating he had breached their policy by appearing to incite violence in a periscope video uploaded to the site.
The fact he was allowed to return to Twitter left many critics asking why Jones hadn’t been banned for good.
Don’t Believe Every Tweet prankster Gotsch said: “As loud as the dialogue had gotten, I thought we were missing a voice reminding us that fake news and conspiracy theories only make an impact when we mindlessly believe what we see online.
Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify all recently banned Jones from their platforms for promoting hate speech and violence.
Jones is currently being sued by the parents of the children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, having claimed the attack was a hoax. The massacre resulted in the deaths of more than 20 children and several adults.
Jones also claims the 9/11 terror attack was staged by the government.