Visitors to the Facebook page of French President Nicholas Sarkozy were greeted with a strange post by the politician on Sunday night, roughly translated that given exceptional circumstances in the country he has decided in his soul and conscience not to seek re-election following his first term.
Later on Sarkozy, ostensibly the real one this time, published a follow up message that his Facebook account had been hacked, to “remind him that no system is foolproof”. He states he disagrees with the conclusion of the message that was fraudulently posted.
Sarkozy is no stranger to online attacks, in 2008 his own bank account was broken into by crackers and a couple of small amount withdrawal transactions were placed. Last September a message appeared on the twitter account of France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a disparaging remark about Romanians following an expulsion of some 100 Roma from the country. Also in September, Sarkozy was the victim of a Google bomb, the manipulation of search results to show that he had posted a vulgarity to the same Facebook page broken into yesterday.
One is left to wonder when the first fake announcement that someone is running for President will happen in the United States. Such messages and their timing are often very carefully crafted by politicians in both this country and abroad, being able to fake these messages through social media could certainly steal a politician’s thunder.