UK’s top spy mistakes parody Twitter account for real

MI6 chief Richard Moore failed to notice that Türkiye’s new Foreign Minister does not have a real Twitter profile

The head of the UK’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Richard Moore, has revealed that he does not pay much attention to profile descriptions on Twitter after he accidentally tagged a parody account of Türkiye’s new foreign minister, Hakan Fidan.

In a late Sunday Tweet, Moore sent out a congratulatory message to Fidan, wishing “my friend and former colleague good luck in his new position” as a minister in Erdogan’s new cabinet.

However, Moore seemingly failed to realize that his friend never had a Twitter account and linked to a parody profile in the message, which was quickly pointed out to the top spy by dozens of netizens. They noted that the @hakanfidan_tr account even clearly states in its description in both Turkish and English that “it is not an official account” and that it is a “parody account.” The profile also lacks the blue verification checkmark.

A couple of hours after his initial tweet and after hundreds of comments, Moore followed up by admitting his gaffe, writing “Wow, that’s embarrassing! but even if the account is a parody, my best wishes come true!”

While many commenters found the situation amusing and commended the MI6 chief on quickly admitting to his mistake, others were concerned that the head of the UK’s foreign intelligence had trouble telling apart real and parody accounts on Twitter.

“The UK is in grave danger if the head of MI6 can’t even distinguish between fake and real Twitter accounts,” one user wrote.

Moore has been at the head of the Secret Intelligence Service since July 2020. Before that, he served as the British Ambassador to Türkiye, between 2014 and 2017. Throughout his career, he has also held various roles within MI6 as a national security adviser.

The spy chief’s misaddressed congratulations came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the composition of his new cabinet of ministers on Saturday evening following the inauguration ceremony for his new term. He officially secured re-election last week in a runoff vote and entered his third term with support from 52.14% of the electorate, according to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council.