The BBC was left red-faced after quoting a parody account in its Zimbabwe coverage, exposing the danger of journalists relying on social media

The trouble that the BBC got itself into on Wednesday morning, when both online and on air it referred to tweets from a parody Zanu PF account, illustrate the complexities of using social media as a reporting resource. This can be especially true in fast-moving news situations, where news organisations may have few reporters directly on the ground.

While many parody accounts on social media are used simply for humour, they can frequently be utilised for deliberate mischief.

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