The Social Affairs Commission of the Austrian Parliament observed a minute of silence on Tuesday for the death of former Social Democratic Chancellor Franz Vranitzky. Vranitzky, however, is still alive: the announcement of his death was a hoax.
As reported by the newspaper Right Standard, a fake Twitter account in which the invention of the death of the head of government between 1986 and 1997 was published seems to have been the source of the information that led to the minute of silence.
The Social Democratic deputy Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, minister between 2008 and 2016 of portfolios such as Education, Art and Culture, Public Service and Women’s Affairs, learned of the alleged death through social networks and asked the other parliamentary groups honor Vranitzky, who is 85 years old.
According to the same source, the Bruno Kreisky Forum, a think tank of which Vranitzky is the founder and honorary president, had to deny the hoax. Heinisch-Hosek then corrected himself before the commission, He apologized and explained that he had been fooled. for a fake account.
Behind the hoax is, according to the Austrian media, the Italian Tommaso Debenedetti, who defines himself as “the Italian champion of the fake news and in the past it has spread lies such as the death of the emeritus pope, Benedict XVI; Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; or the Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa.
Apparently, the Italian created a fictitious account in which pretended to be the current Minister of Agriculture from Austria, Norbert Totschnig, and through whom he spread the lie, which soon circulated on social networks.