Two people are seen outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, pretending to be Data Engineers that are laid off by the company, which caused several media outlets to report it immediately, not knowing that these people are fake employees.

fake twitter employees: tricking media outlets, posing as laid-off data engineers

(Photo : CONSTANZA HEVIA/AFP via Getty Images)
The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Constanza HEVIA has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Two people who claim to be Twitter employees, speak with reporters outside Twitter headquarters on October 28, 2022, in San Francisco, California

Fake Twitter Employees

A report from The Verge stated that on Friday morning, two men carrying boxes were seen outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, who claimed to be Data Engineers that were laid off by the new owner of the company, Elon Musk.

Multiple media outlets like CNBC, Daily Mail, and NBC reported this news immediately as they were the first ones to be interviewed among the other employees and executives who were also reportedly laid off because of the new ownership. Aside from the three media outlets, pictures, and videos circulated around the platform featuring the two pranksters.

The two people interviewed by the press are named Daniel Johnson and Rahul Ligma, which is a reference for a meme on the internet. The Verge also confirmed that these names do not exist in Twitter’s Slack email system, and there is no evidence in LinkedIn that these two people exist.

What did they say?

Aside from the meme name, a lot of things were said by the two to the media that did not make sense that made them question the public. “Rahul Ligma” carried a Michelle Obama book as he claimed that “Michelle Obama wouldn’t have happened if Elon Musk owned Twitter. Obama in 2008 wouldn’t have happened without Elon Musk owning Twitter.”

Deirdre Bosa of CNBC also tweeted the discourse between her and the fake employees. She stated that two were visibly shaken, and one of them claimed that he owned a Tesla, and did not know how he was going to pay for his own Tesla.

It’s happening
Entire team of data engineers let go. These are two of them#TwitterTakeover pic.twitter.com/gNSl6qSCKU

— Deirdre Bosa (@dee_bosa) October 28, 2022

In a now-deleted tweet, Suzzane Phan of ABC7 Bay Area also stated that one of these fake employees was terminated during a meeting on Zoom and will just be going to spend his time with his family in the meantime.

Twitter’s Response

According to the New York Post, Twitter Product Manager Paul Lee called out these media outlets, especially CNBC, for reporting unverified news. He stated that before reporting it to the public, simply confirming a badge or a look for bird-themed stuff in the boxes was enough for this situation to not happen.

Quite ironic that a major news outlet failed to do basic diligence and fell for a crisis actor prank, resulting in the spread of misinfo, on the first day of new ownership. All you had to do was ask to see a badge or look for bird-themed stuff in the boxes. Also we don’t use Zoom https://t.co/QtIrBjOH3H

— Paul Lee (@BeeBimBop) October 28, 2022

“Quite ironic that a major news outlet failed to do basic diligence and fell for a crisis actor prank, resulting in the spread of misinfo, on the first day of new ownership,” he added. Lee also confirmed that Twitter does not use Zoom.

This article is owned by TechTimes

Written by Inno Flores

Keyword: Fake Twitter Employees: Tricking Media Outlets, Posing as Laid-Off Data Engineers

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