Fans who follow E! Online on Twitter were in for quite a shock over the weekend. The celebrity news site posted an alleged “exclusive” that claimed Justin Bieber has come out as gay.
“Exclusive: Justin Bieber to E! online: I’m a gay,” the now-deleted tweet reads. A later post says, “Exclusive: Selena Gomez tells E! she will fully support Justin in his coming out.”
If those claims sound false, it’s because they are. Less than an hour after the posts were tweeted, an organization came forward to take responsibility for hacking E!’s Twitter account. “The Syrian Electronic Army was here! Fans of @justinbieber, you have been trolled by @Official_SEA12 #SEA,” the tweet reads.
E! Online removed the fake tweets, but that didn’t stop the message from getting out. The alleged Bieber reveal got over 1,200 retweets and 351 favorites.
“This account @eonline was compromised and some incorrect information was sent out. We’re working with Twitter now to fix this,” E! Online has since tweeted.
The site added in a later statement, “E online’s breaking news twitter and sms accounts were compromised today. We’re working to have this resolved as quickly as possible and are fully investigating the incident. We apologize for any confusion that the erroneous news alerts may have caused.”
E! isn’t the only news site the Syrian Electronic Army has targeted. Other Twitter accounts that have been hacked include “60 Minutes,” the Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters and NPR.