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Stephen Harper Inflammatory 'First Nations' Tweet Exposed as a Hoax

Circulating message features a screenshot of a supposed tweet by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in which he states that Canada will not yield to the First Nations and promises to crush their demonstrations. The message claims that the offending tweet was quickly removed and asks users to share the screenshot as a means of exposing and shaming Prime Minister Harper.

Stephen Harper

Image courtesy Wikipedia/Remy Steinegger

Brief Analysis
The message is a hoax. Stephen Harper sent no such tweet. The screenshot originates from a website that allows users to create fake tweets in other people's names.  Astute observers will quickly note that the tweet is longer than the 140-character limit imposed on Twitter.

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This was posted on PM #Harper twitter and quickly removed. TWEET THE HELL OUT OF THIS FOLKS! EXPOSE AND SHAME HARPER

Stephen Harper Twitter Hoax

Detailed Analysis

A political protest message currently circulating via social media features a screenshot of what appears to be an inflammatory Twitter message about First Nations posted by Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

In the tweet, Harper claims that Canada will not yield to the so called First Nations and bluntly warns that First Nations people must choose to be loyal "Canadian's" or "face the full force of the Crowns Authority". Presumably in reference to recent shale gas exploration protests in Rexton, New Brunswick, the tweet claims that the government will "crush these demonstrations by all means".

The message claims that the offending tweet was quickly removed from Twitter and asks that users share the screenshot as much as possible to shame and expose Prime Minister Harper.

However, the Canadian Prime Minister did not write the words. The Office of the Prime Minister informed media outlets that no such tweet was posted and states that the Prime Minister was the victim of a hoax.

And, a closer examination of the screenshot reveals that the supposed tweet is indeed fake. The tweet is considerably longer than the 140 characters allowed in a real twitter post. It also contains a rather obvious – and decidedly un-prime ministerial – spelling error (Canadian's).

The "tweet" likely comes courtesy of a website that allows people to generate fake Twitter posts in the names of their chosen victims. A number of such fake tweet generators are available online.

Thus, it appears that the message is just a rather lame attempt to discredit Prime Minister Harper and further a particular political agenda.

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Last updated: October 24, 2013
First published: October 24, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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