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Following the Boston marathon bombings, a rash of fake Twitter and Facebook accounts were set up, either to gain extra hits or to funnel money to fake charities.

One of the most popular form of fraudulent tweets came in the form of images of child runners supposedly injured in the blast. Two such fake accounts included @HopeForBoston and another picturing a girl who supposedly was running to raise money for classmates killed in the Sandy Hook shootings. Both have since been determined as fakes (only adults were eligible to run in the marathon).

Another Twitter account, calling itself @_BostonMarathon, which claimed it would donate $1 for every retweet to the Boston Marathon victims, has been shut down by Twitter. Before it was shut down, the original post had over 52,000 retweets.

Several Facebook and YouTube users changed the name of their profile, or of previously posted videos, inserting Boston-related titles in a bid to get more hits. There have also been a rush of Boston Marathon-related domain names registered. While some of these have been set up to help victims, others have yet to be updated.

Perhaps one of the worst examples of a tweet using the marathon to further a skewed agenda was the Westboro Baptist Church, which stated they would picket the funerals of the victims in a misguided anti-gay protest. 


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Fake charities and Twitter accounts attempting to hijack public goodwill following Boston bombings
Digital Mag

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