How To Start A Bank Panic Using Twitter

From the Irish Times, May 16, 2009:

POLICE IN Guatemala have arrested a Twitter user and confiscated his computer for inciting financial panic after he urged people to remove funds from a state-owned bank.

Jean Anleu Fernandez (37) was jailed for posting the 96-character message on the micro-blogging website earlier this week.

It is thought to be the first such case in central America.

Police raided the IT worker s home in Guatemala City on the orders of the public ministry division in charge of banks, according to local media.

The head of the banking system, Genaro Pacheco, said Mr Anleu admitted sending a message about Banrural, a rural development bank at the centre of a murder mystery which has engulfed the government in a political storm.

Mr Anleu sent the message on Tuesday of this week. It said: First concrete action should be remove cash from Banrural and bankrupt the bank of the corrupt.

Inciting financial panic is an offence in Guatemala, which like much of Latin America has a history of economic volatility.

Mr Anleu is due to be held in jail until payment of a EUR 4,800 fine, after which he will be placed under house arrest pending trial.

The detention prompted a backlash from the Twitter community.

Mr Anleu s message has been resent by other Twitters and funds are being collected to pay the fine.

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One thought on “How To Start A Bank Panic Using Twitter

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Young and eapenthampy, Jessica Malnik. Jessica Malnik said: That's terrible. RT @Gregyoung3 RT @eapenthampy: How to start a bank panic using Twitter: http://bit.ly/4DUpFv […]

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