A minute of mourning for former Chancellor Franz Vranitzy (SPÖ) was held on Tuesday at the Social Committee of the National Council – although he is still alive. The trigger was a fake account on Twitter that had spread a fake obituary. SPÖ MP Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek found out about the alleged death via a chat message, after which Vranitzky was commemorated.
According to “Standard,” the false report prompted a correction from the Bruno Kreisky Forum, of which Vranitzky is the founder and honorary president. “Contrary to the rumor of a fake account spread on Twitter: Dr. Franz Vranitzky is fine!!!” it said on Twitter (see below).
Heinisch-Hosek then corrected herself in committee, apologizing and explaining that she had been scammed by a fake account.
According to the newspaper, Italian Tommaso Debenedetti, who has already declared countless personalities dead online, is behind the account. In 2011, the world oil price is said to have risen after he announced the death of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
This time, Debenedetti posed as Agriculture Minister Norbert Totschnig (ÖVP). A person from the area of Heinisch-Hosek fell for this, who then informed her, the SPÖ club said at the request of the APA.
Franz Vranitzky was Chancellor of Austria from 1986 to 1997 and head of the SPÖ from 1988 to 1997. He celebrated his 85th birthday at the beginning of October.
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