Fake Twitter Account That Announced Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is Exposed as Italian Hoaxer Tommasso De Benedetti

A fake Twitter account, claiming to be Bishop Georg Bätzing, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, sent out a Tweet saying that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was dead. Tommasso De Benedetti, a well known Twitter hoaxer, sent out the tweet on Monday (see image below), July 11, 2022. The account used the handle @BischofBatzing and was later removed by Twitter. However, the tweet went viral causing many to believe that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who is 95 years old, had died. 

The Guardian Newspaper interviewed Tommasso De Benedetti in 2012 and he said, Twitter works well for deaths," said De Benedetti. "Social media is the most unverifiable information source in the world but the news media believes it because of its need for speed," he said. De Benedetti is a school teacher and a father in his 50s. He has falsely announced the deaths of several prominent people on Twitter over the past 10 years. 

Interview Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/mar/30/twitter-hoaxer-tommaso-de-benedetti