Police have arrested two people in South America accused of using social micro-blogging sites to intentionally disrupt the financial system in Venezuela. Banking rumor tweets from the two allegedly claimed instability in the financial system, and attempted to encourage a ‘run on the banks.’ Check out the full story, with photos and video below!
Opening a Twitter account himself, President Hugo Chavez has seen strong support and criticism on the micro-blogging site. The recent arrest of two twitter users with minor followings is being seen by some as an attempt to intimidate the site’s users who are critical of the government.
According to the head of the CICPC national investigative police unit Wilmer Flores, the couple, who were the originators of the Venezuela banking rumor tweets, “were using the social networking site Twitter to disseminate false rumors with the purpose of destabilizing the national banking system… and trigger a run on banks.”
The police first arrested a man and confiscated his cell phone, which they indicate was the source of the first post in question. Then, they arrested a female and took her computer and hard-disks as evidence. Unclear on the actual content of the alleged posts, the authorities said that the arrests were the result of a four-month investigation into the subversive use of the prolific micro-blogging site.
“False rumors on social networks are punished under Article 448 of the banking law. This means that anybody who spreads malicious rumors by any means, emails, SMS messages on cellphones, Twitter, Facebook … or any other means of communication is committing a crime and should answer for it before the competent authorities,” continued Mr. Flores.
What do you think of the arrests in Venezuela? Banking rumor tweets are hardly enough to bat an eye at in the USA. Were the micro-bloggers a serious threat? Or is it possible the government had ulterior motives? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!
Also, check out the pictures and video below!
Photos: www.wenn.com/News Pictures