ISLAMABAD-A Twitter account allegedly portraying itself as belonging to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police caused a brief sensation on Twitter before being declared as fake by the officials.

“Another safe and sound New Year’s Eve provided to the people of Islamabad. Only things hurt were a few red lights and your ex’s ego when nobody threw their number at her in chickachinos,” a tweet from the handle ‘@ISB_Safe_City’ (City Police) read. The tweet made at 4:31am on 1st of January 2020 got over 250 re-tweets and 1000 likes till the filing of this report same day, making it a topic of discussion among the users.

Even many influential Twitter users fell for the humorous account. Tehreem Azeem @tehreemaze said: “Who is handling this account? Lol its fun but official accounts should be serious.” Dr. Waseem Shahid @wasem2 said “Don’t blame him… he was just under the effects of over dosage at that time…” @_brightmalik_ was so simple and short in his reply to @ISB_Safe_City by saying “HAHAHAHAHA BESTTTT.” Atiq ur Rehman @atiqrehman31 said: “Just heard there was some ‘activity’ at this chick’s pace…. Will relate later. Btw why and when our departments are becoming sarcastic….”

Islamabad Police took to Twitter hours after the tweet by the humorous account that perturbed the officials. The Islamabad police official account @ICT_Police came into action at 12:40pm on January 1 to declare that the account was fake and that the ITP has initiated action against the account under cyber laws. “ATTENTION! Please beware of FAKE ACCOUNTS on Twitter pretending to be Islamabad Police. Action is being initiated by Cybercrime unit to take them down, but until then please report to twitter about such fake accounts,” read the tweet by the official account of Islamabad police. It further clarified that only @ICT_Police officially represents Islamabad Police.

Replying to @ICT_Police, a user ‘Call Sign Aadil’ @aikThiAinee said: “Once cybercrime unit traces the kid, can u plz let him/her go with just a warning? It was just entertainment. No harm done. Warning to not repeat this in future would serve the purpose :) Let’s kickstart 2020 on a softer note.” Replying to @aikThiAinee and @ICT_Police, Ayesha S from her handle @aiiish_S said: “Why not to hire the kid instead, get twitter handle managed by him. Since, it was cool.” It is easy to create a fake account on social media. In the recent years, Twitter has changed from a tool for transparency to a platform overrun by propaganda. The social media platform was once hailed as a tool of liberation and transparency.

But now it has been inundated with fake accounts and propaganda peddlers. The fake Twitter accounts spread misinformation and distort conversation. Fake Twitter accounts are used to inflate follower numbers, send spam and boost interest in trending topics.