But the account is fake. Its profile says it is a “Parody that’s not actually affiliated with Reuters in any way.” It was suspended Sunday night by Twitter.
The account was created in August 2016 and has previously tweeted fake news about mass shootings, including identifying the Fort Lauderdale airport gunman as alt-right personality Mike Cernovich. It also claimed Republican strategist Rick Wilson attempted an assassination Donald Trump, among other hoaxes connected to major news events.
The account has only two people following it, and follows 278. But the tweet was reposted more than 1,000 times in the hour after it was posted and the names spread quickly on social media.
The photo on the left in the fake account’s tweet is of Davis M.J. Aurini, an alt-right Trump supporter from Canada.
Aurini, who calls himself Davis the Deplorable, appears to be in on the joke. He has previously retweeted the fake Reuters account, and on Sunday shared an article calling him the shooter, saying “Time to come clean: David Aurine is my twin brother, left handed, works with Antifa, wasn’t raised by wolves like me.”
The man in the second photo, called Mathieu Fornier, is Matt Forney, an alt-right writer.
The Reuters “parody” account previously used a photo of Forney and called him the leader of Russia’s hacking team:
Another apparent hoax, which claims the shooters were recent refugees from Syria named Bashir al-Taweed and Hassan Matti, has spread on Reddit and on Twitter.
But witnesses and police have said the suspects are believed to be natives of Quebec, based on their accents, the CBC reports.
Twitter trolls have notoriously posted fake names and photos after mass shootings and other major news events. As Buzzfeed has chronicled, the name Sam Hyde appears on Twitter after almost every attack. Hyde is a comedian and is himself an online troll, according to Buzzfeed.
The first tweet from the fake Reuters account was in August 2016, identifying Hyde as the shooter in an incident at Los Angeles International Airport:
Two men were taken into custody and were identified Monday morning as Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed Khadir. At least five people were killed and several others were wounded when gunmen opened fire during evening prayers at the mosque, in what officials have called a “barbaric” attack.
You can read more about the shooting at the links below:
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