French Twitter hacker caught by police

Posted on March 26, 2010


An unemployed Frenchman who hacked into the back end of Twitter has been caught by French police, and interviewed with the American FBI listening in. The man claimed he didn’t do any damage and didn’t intend to make any false posts pretending to be anyone else, he was just curious and felt compelled to do it ‘for the game’.

The man, who is 24 years old and goes by the alias ‘Hacker Croll’, was released on bail by police after being interviewed, and faces a £30,000 fine if found guilty and even a two year prison sentence.

Now, what is really interesting about this story isn’t the story itself, but the way in which it was reported on the Daily Mirror newspaper’s website. Despite the man hacking into Twitter itself, giving him access to every user account on the website (including mine and yours) the Mirror lead with the headline:

Britney Spears’ Twitter hacker has been caught


Yes, the unnamed French hacker did have access to Britney Spears’ Twitter account – but he had access to everyone’s. Why did the Mirror feel the need to single out Britney Spears, and then mention Lilly Allen in their opening line?

Why didn’t they mention Stephen Fry or Chris Moyles? Their accounts were also susceptible to being ‘tinkered’ with by the French hacker – although as mentioned earlier he didn’t post as anyone, so Britney’s account was left unmolested.

No, the Mirror decided to lead with the headline about Britney Spears because they knew it would grab readers’ attention – and it doesn’t hurt to feature her name in Google News either, as she’s still a hot property as far as SEO is concerned.


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