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French Government Twitter Account Hacked

France doesn’t lack for enemies these days. It passed a law outlawing the use of the Islamic headscarf in schools and the burqa in public. Recently, it started to expel Gypsies in a move reminiscent of the “ethnic cleansing” of the Balkans and the wartime roundup and murder of the Gypsies.

But who exactly hacked into @francediplo, the official French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Twitter account, today is hard to say. But whoever it was posted a most undiplomatic message.

Apparently it was an attempt to make is seem that the French government was expressing its imagined hatred of Romanians overtly. The government has destroyed over 100 Gypsy camps in France in the last week and expelled over 1,000 Gypsies to Romania. (Although this is getting a lot of news lately, France expelled 12,000 Gypsies in 2009 alone, according to Rom Europe.)

The tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with one explaining the account had been hacked but measures had been taken to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Does such a political hack (so to speak) make a political statement or is it merely a stunt? It felt pretty visceral to me, but the funky English made it initially difficult to understand the point behind the stunt.

Thanks to Steve Hemmerstoffer for the tip.

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