‘Forest win’ was elaborate Twitter prank

LTLF Exclusive by Social Media Correspondent, Faye Kinnit
February 8, 2015

Reports on Twitter of a Nottingham Forest victory this weekend were a hoax, the club has explained.

The scoreline of ‘Brighton 2 Forest 3’, though highly unlikely, was widely retweeted after it was posted by the club’s chairman, Fawaz Al-Hasawi, on Saturday evening.

However, a statement released by the club today said: “Don’t be silly. Forest winning a game? Coming from behind? Not crumbling under pressure? Get real! You people will believe anything if it’s written in 140 characters or less.”

It was a busy day for Twitter hoaxes, as an account believed to be owned by a close friend of Mr Al-Hasawi added to the confusion, tweeting that defender Danny Collins had not only played 90 minutes but also scored a goal.

LTLF understands that in reality Forest played reasonably well for 20 minutes but failed to create any clear-cut chances, succumbed to a soft goal and then looked utterly dejected and listless for the remainder of the match, leading to several more soft goals being conceded and supporters booing at the final whistle – a series of events that seems much more plausible given recent form.

“It seemed too good to be true,” commented Guy Lubble, one of many supporters taken in by the fake scoreline. “Now I know it was. In future I might stop and question what I see on Twitter instead of believing anything and everything I read on there.”

This reporter contacted Nottingham Forest to find out what was behind the spate of spurious stories leaking from the club. Press officer Dick Tayshone told me: “The trouble is, Fawaz has got a really strange sense of humour.

“He just loves to post made-up stories on Twitter. For instance, he thinks tweeting that he’s planning to resign as chairman and sell the club is the height of witty banter, but a lot of people just don’t get the joke and it leads to a huge amount of confusion.

“We need to get the message out to supporters: treat everything Fawaz tweets as an ironic prank. Nine times out of ten it will be a complete load of nonsense.”

Hoaxes and spoof stories are the bane of football fans’ lives on Twitter and it can be difficult to distinguish genuine stories, but LTLF has contacted several experts in the field who recommended that tweets containing the words ‘Vital Forest’, the hashtag #itk or coming from accounts like @Jimbo519242 should be treated as gospel.