Dead people’s identities ‘stolen’ for fake Twitter accounts to smear journalist


(The Independent) – Fake Twitter accounts created using the identities of recently-deceased people are being used to smear a respected British human rights journalist, in a sophisticated dirty tricks campaign.

The false accounts have been used to besmirch Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has exposed corruption in Malaysia.

The dark arts campaign used the “stolen” identities of Philip Goodeve-Docker, a British novice Arctic explorer who died on a charity trek in Greenland in 2013, and Samuel Morehead, a Second World War veteran from Texas who also died in 2013, to create false Twitter accounts, The Independent can reveal.

“It’s very distasteful,” Mr Goodeve-Docker’s father Nigel told The Independent, after being alerted to the misuse of his son’s photo. “It is cheap to use the photograph of a dead person who can’t complain.”

Numerous other stolen identities were used for at least 19 Twitter “sock puppet” accounts deployed to direct traffic to a defamatory Facebook page titled “The Real Clare Rewcastle Brown”, challenging the award-winning journalist’s work exposing corruption involving tens of millions of pounds.

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