Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Italian teacher 'kills' celebrities on Twitter

Published on Jan 5, 2013 10:30 AM
The Twitter logo is displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on March 11, 2011, in California. Italian Tommasso Debenedetti uses fake tweets to "kill" celebrities to expose shoddy journalism. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope Benedict XVI - Italian Tommasso Debenedetti has killed them all in fake tweets aimed at exposing shoddy journalism that have earned him global notoriety.

The latest victim of Mr Debenedetti's unusual hobby is British author JK Rowling, whose death in an accident he announced from a fake Twitter account purporting to belong to fellow writer John Le Carre.

"Death works well on Twitter," Mr Debenedetti, who is in his 40s and says he teaches literature at a school in Rome, told Agence France-Presse in a phone interview.

Mr Debenedetti said that when he saw his Le Carre account had 2,500 followers including journalists from major British, German and US media, "I decided to make John Le Carre say JK Rowling had died".

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here