Twitter hoax pretended to expose hateful message from Prime Minister

Lindsay Jolivet
Screengrab of a fake tweet
Screengrab of a fake tweet purportedly from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Twitter account.

A poorly disguised — and poorly spelled — Twitter hoax tried to convince social media users that the Prime Minister's Office was planning to "crush" aboriginal protests this week.

"Canada will NOT yield to these so called 'First Nations' and they must choose to be loyal Canadian's or face the full force of the Crowns Authority. We will crush these demonstrations by all means under Crown Law [sic]" according a screen capture of a supposed tweet that circulated on Sunday, written by someone who doesn't understand possessives.

Protests by the Elsipogtog First Nations in New Brunswick against shale gas fracking this week became violent, leaving police vehicles in flames and leading to the arrest of about 40 people.

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Those sharing the fake tweet wrote that it was posted from the Prime Minister's official Twitter account, @pmharper.

Of course, the message isn't a real tweet. It contains 214 characters, while Twitter only allows posts of 140 characters or less.

Nonetheless, QMI Agency reported that it called the Prime Minister's Office to ask about the message and the director of communications, Jason MacDonald, confirmed it was a hoax.

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In another case of online trickery in 2011, hackers posted a fake news release on the Conservative Party's website saying Stephen Harper had been rushed to hospital after choking on a hash brown at breakfast.

When the Prime Minister's Twitter account accidentally posted the wrong handle for Bernard Valcourt this summer on an announcement about his new post as the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, someone opened an account under the handle and began bashing policies as "Fake Bernie Valcourt."

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