A fake Twitter account attributed to the president of the German Bishops' Conference, Georg Bätzing, falsely announced the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
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On July 11, the news of the death of Benedict XVI (age 95) began to circulate through social media networks. This has happened before. However, on this occasion, the fake news began to circulate rapidly and extensively due to the source that was thought to be providing the message. The announcement of the death of the Pope Emeritus was made, supposedly, by the president of the German Episcopal Conference, Georg Bätzing.
Several renowned Vatican experts quickly denied the claim, including the correspondent for COPE (Spanish radio) in Rome, Eva Fernández. Fernandez promptly confirmed the announcement was not true. She wrote on Twitter:
News issued from a fake account.
This is not the first time this has happened.
The #Vatican has not confirmed this news.