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Home > News > PTI

Pranksters impersonate Bilawal on Facebook

January 03, 2008 14:22 IST

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Pranksters are making merry on the social networking website Facebook by signing up as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari or just Bilawal and issuing messages in his name.

The 19-year-old son of slain former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto zoomed into focus following his mother's assassination on December 27 and his appointment as the new chairman of the Pakistan People's Party.

Though his father Asif Ali Zardari, who is co-chairman of the PPP, has admitted that his son has an account on Facebook, the quotes attributed to Bilawal by media organisations are the handiwork of pranksters.

The latest message doing the rounds, which Bilawal supposedly posted on Monday, reads, "I'm merely a student. I do things that students do - like make mistakes, eat junk food, watch Buffy, but most importantly of all... learn. My time to lead will come; but for now, I'm the one asking questions, not the one answering them".

The fake messages also referred to the dangers to Bilawal and his 'political beliefs'.

During her lifetime, Bhutto guarded her children's privacy intensely. In the press conference following Bilawal's appointment as heir to the Bhutto legacy, his father did not allow journalists to address questions to his son. "He is of a tender age," he told them.

The lack of information has seen journalists scouring the internet to enrich the scant portrait of the Bhutto successor and falling prey to the tricks of the pranksters who put up fake profiles of Bilawal on sites like Facebook.

Facebook has since disabled two profiles associated with the names Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto, with the company's spokesperson Brandee Barker saying, "They were not authentic and violated the site's terms of use".

According to a report in The New York Times, a prankster called Tonay had pretended to be Bilawal on Facebook.

"Since this is basically the first time the guy has come into the public eye, nobody has made an account for him, so I quickly registered one, and just been adding stuff to the profile," Tonay said.

But Bilawal's real Facebook profile, under the alias 'Bilawal Lawalib' has certain comments like 'Well-behaved women rarely make history'. This was confirmed to Time magazine by his Facebook associate and dorm-mate Phillippa Neal.

London's [Images] Evening Standard also uncovered a picture of Bilawal, dressed as a devil for a fancy dress party with heavy make-up and a pair of horns, on the Facebook page of one of his friends.

The picture, which had the tagline 'We're ready to bring hell on earth', was subsequently removed by the friend.

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