Wednesday, December 6

The author of the monkey pox thread for touching a scooter: reused account, fake photo and deleted messages

On July 30, a Twitter user published a thread, which quickly went viral and was disseminated in various national and international media, in which he explained how he had contracted monkeypox by touching the handlebars of a scooter bought from an infected person. Beyond whether this type of contagion is possible, specialists in the spread of messages through social networks such as Mariluz Congosto, Marcelino Madrigal and Julián Macías Tovar have warned that the user meets the usual characteristics that point to a false profile: between Others, it’s a repurposed account, with a fake profile picture, and has recently changed its content type by deleting previous messages.

Marcelino Madrigal, a specialist in the analysis of network profiles, explained that the account – which did not provide any evidence beyond his story – has massively deleted tweets at least twice since it was created, in June 2013. responsible for the thread is now called @mei_rito, but before it was @Susanapresident and it was defined as “Citizen platform to support Susana Díaz, General Secretary of PSOE-A and President of the Junta de Andalucía”.

Mariluz Congosto, doctor in Telematics and one of the greatest experts in the propagation of messages and characterization of users on Twitter, has explained in a thread about this case that, although it is complex to determine 100% that a profile is false, “it is getting closer. to this figure when four characteristics are given”: account reuse, false profile photo, drastic change of content and change of publication routine. Here it is four o’clock.

In addition to being a reused account, the content analysis shows that now —after deleting his previous tweets from the socialist campaign— he is dedicated to supporting publications about Podemos and talking about programs from the heart. She has in her biography the hashtag of support for Rocío Carrasco, daughter of Rocío Jurado. This is relevant because of the way in which the thread about the scooter was spread at first, according to Congosto: the support environment for Rocío Carrasco “was the first network that began to spread it” and then it jumped to other networks.

On the other hand, the image that he currently shows as a profile picture is not that of an anonymous citizen, it is of the British cyclist Adam Yates.

“As you can see, it fits very well with the four points that we defined at the beginning. Marcelino Madrigal, Julián Macías Tovar and I have detected a coincidence of these profiles in the areas of politics, sports and trash TV. Behind them, it is very likely that there are agencies”, concludes Congosto.

The user @mei_rito has added in his biography that he is “author of the One Tweet Wonder ‘how I got monkeypox from Wallapop’”. His thread, which began with “you’re going to freak out when you know how I got it”, explained that he had been infected after contacting and buying an electric scooter on this ad platform. A week after the alleged transaction, according to his account, he began to have symptoms. Then the seller informed him of his diagnosis with monkeypox and, after going to the doctor, @mei_rito says that he is also positive: “The most likely contagion, according to what they tell me, since my sexual life has not changed, is that the virus ended on my mucous membranes after impregnating myself with it on the handles of the scooter”.

Being infected in this way, although it is not 100% ruled out, is unlikely. The usual thing is that the virus is spread when they come into contact skin with skin or mucosa with mucosa. In recent weeks, monkeypox has revived the ghost of stigma towards infectious diseases, especially those that are sexually transmitted. However, although infections have been concentrated in men who have sex with other men, assuming that the virus only circulates sexually and between men is wrong.

Globally, to date a total of 21,699 cases of monkeypox have been reported, of which 4,298 correspond to cases detected in Spain, which is the second country with the highest number of infections, only behind the 4,907 in the USA. . They are followed by Brazil with 978, Canada with 761, Peru with 269 and Israel, which adds up to 133.