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There has been a photo circulating everywhere claiming that RockStar, producer of the famous game GTA V, tweeted the following:

enter image description here

I saw it on my twitter feed, on this forum and on this website.

I also saw it here under the title of Rockstar Games being awesome.

While it might have been created as a joke, it might be also true and many people are believing it and arguing that it is true.

Also one member who was arguing sent this article:

ROCKSTAR ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING GTA ONLINE ISSUES

I want to know if it is authentic or not. Did Rockstar Games post this tweet?

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    Evidently no-one here uses Twitter, because you could immediately dismiss this given it's larger than 140 characters. – Seiyria Apr 9 '15 at 14:54
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There are a number of pieces of evidence that demonstrate that the picture above is not a real tweet from Rockstar, but a hoax.


Missing Verification Tick

We can compare the image in the question with an example of a tweet actually made on that date (and verified via the Wayback Machine's archive:

example tweet

Note that the example tweet shows a blue tick, which indicates the identity of the account has been "verified" (authenticated) by Twitter. The hoax tweet does not show the blue tick. The Wayback machine confirms that that the RockStar Games' twitter account was verified at the time.

Too Long

Twitter famously limits each tweet to 140 characters. The hoax exceeds that length.

Here's what happens if you try to type in the same message on Twitter:

Example form submission

It is too long to be accepted.

Numbers incorrectly formatted.

Twitter has always formatted numbers larger than 999 with a separator, e.g. 2,543 favorites. In the hoax, the commas are missing.

Putative creator known:

A reverse Google Image search suggests the source is funnyjunk.com. It seems that the creator of this meme is kingxddd, a 19-year-old man, ranked 13th on that site. His friends responded to him with similar fake screenshots:

enter image description here enter image description here

Simple to fake

The technique to create a realistic fake tweet is well known: the famous, cut-and-paste-one-line-of-code-to-make-any-website-editable

Add this code as a link bookmarked on Google Chrome:

javascript:document.body.contentEditable='true'; document.designMode='on'; void 0

Once you click on the bookmark, any web page will be editable live through the browser. I was able to easily make this fake tweet: enter image description here

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    @georgechalhoub Why would they not cut it off earlier? No one's making them put as much in text as they can. – cpast Apr 7 '15 at 17:59
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    Very, very good answer. Comprehensive, readable and reliable, what more could we possibly wish for? – Mast Apr 7 '15 at 22:06
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    @cpast: I'd guess that in the taxonomy of things-that-aren't-true this is a "spoof", not a "hoax" or "fraud". That is to say, it's trying to entertain and comment using the look and feel of Rockstar's Twitter feed, it isn't trying to deceive people beyond that. So getting the content it wants into the alleged Tweet is more important than passing close analysis. – Steve Jessop Apr 8 '15 at 11:28
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    @Random832, ah I have to stop you here! The image comes from a tweet page (e.g. twitter.com/RockstarGames/status/385871041391636480) and not from the indvidual page! – George Chalhoub Apr 8 '15 at 14:41
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    @Random832, It's possible that they had a screenshot saved from before, and edit it when necessary, with the relevant date. Notice it also says “via Twitter”, which Twitter no longer includes in its web and mobile interfaces. – Arturo Torres Sánchez Apr 9 '15 at 16:47

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