Rumour Of Assad’s Death On Twitter Affects Oil Prices

Twitter is fast becoming the first place to hear about current events and news topics, given that it only takes one person with a phone to break a story. Last year a man in Pakistan famously tweeted about some helicopter activity nearby that later turned out to be the raid on the Abbottabad compound that killed Bin Laden. However, you cannot believe everything you read on Twitter, and sometimes getting it wrong can have a knock-on effect.

A tweet sent on Monday, from an account claiming to represent Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been killed or injured. Although the account has since been deleted, two more tweets confirmed his death:

al assad dead

Following the news, the markets responded quickly. Only 16 minutes after the first tweet, the price of a barrel of crude oil began to spike. When the oil prices closed that day the price had increased by a dollar (give or take a few cents) to $92.20┬áper barrel.┬áSpeaking to The Wall Street Journal, Phil Flynn – Price Futures Group Analyst – said “A well-placed story can move the market, and that looks like what happened.”

The @MiniInterRussia account proved to be fake, and upon investigation of archived tweets it was shown that it regularly attempted to spread death rumours, with subjects including Nelson Mandela and Francis Ford Coppola.

But it’s not just this account at it. Twitter has been the source of many a death rumour in it’s relatively short existence. It seems no one is sacred… Jeff Goldblum, Kanye West, Jon Bon Jovi, President Obama, Morgan Freeman and Pope Benedict XVI have all had their ‘deaths’ spread like wildfire across the micro-blogging site.

So while Twitter is a very good tool to quickly confirm something you may have heard, always make sure you can find a reliable source, or beware the consequences of perpetuating the rumour!

About Andrew Robertson

I'm Andrew, I work as the Social Media & Marketing Assistant at SocialSafe. I've been writing blogs on here for over two years now, so you'll find pieces from me about anything relating to social media and tech, as well as the changing face of personal data. There's also room for the occasional post on some slightly off topics stories... just for the sake of variety!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s