Fake News: Pope Benedict XVI Is NOT Dead

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

A fake twitter account pretending to be the Archbishop of Salzburg claims that Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has passed away in following tweet (archived here):

But the twitter account in question was only created last month and contains a tweet (archived here) announcing it is all a prank:

While we can't confirm at this time if Tommasso Debenedetti is really behind the account, the man has been famous for perpetrating various hoaxes through social media in order to prove how easy it is to do so nowadays.


  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion