Fake Coe account hoodwinks twittersphere … and Newsnet Scotland


A twitter account purporting to be owned by Olympic Games Chief Lord Sebastion Coe, but believed to be fake, has caused a stir after hoax messages from the Olympic Gold medallist caught out many, including Newsnet Scotland.

Two messages posted on the account set twitter alight when it appeared the Tory Peer had claimed that Scotland was not a country and had no right to fly the Saltire over Hampden for the duration of the London Olympic Games.

Embarrassingly for Newsnet Scotland, our own Martin Kelly was one of those who fell for the hoax and a story appeared on this site.

However, sharp eyed posters as well as our own moderators and our IT guru spotted immediately that the account was not genuine and the Editor, red faced, pulled the article.

Newsnet Scotland’s editor said: “We picked the story up from other tweets and believed them to be genuine.  The twitter account to the uninitiated seemed real and we put together an article.

“Right now there are a couple of red faces, but that’s life.  We pulled the article within 30 minutes after we were alerted by our own mods and our IT guru and can only apologise to people who, like us, believed the tweets to be genuine.

The editor joked: “We are looking into claims that the fake twitter account was set up by Steve Ovett.”

The hoax follows very genuine news that the Saltire will not be allowed to fly at Hampden Park for the duration of the London Olympic Games.

Olympic rules forbid the flying of any flags other than those of participating countries, and Scotland is not deemed to be participating in its own right due to being part of the GB team.