A prankster has caused confusion by setting up a fake Twitter account for a college and claiming it had closed for the day because of the freezing conditions.
The message was posted three hours ago from an account titled North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, with the handle @HinkleyNorth, saying that all “campuses are closed today due to icy roads and possible health and safety issues”.
All North Warwickshire and Hinckley College campuses are closed today Tuesday the 12th of December due to icy roads and possible health and safety issues (keep checking for any updates using the box or/ social Media’s)
— North. Warwickshire & Hinckley College (@HinckleyNorth) December 12, 2017
The college at first responded with posting before 9am from its official Twitter account, insisting that “this is a fake account and that North Warwickshire & Hinckley College is open at all sites to staff and students today”.
Please be advised that this is a fake account and that North Warwickshire & Hinckley College is open at all sites to staff and students today (12 Dec). Please follow @nwhcnews for official information https://t.co/Jf6zBUi2nm
— NWHC News (@nwhcnews) December 12, 2017
NWHC also confirmed to FE Week that it has reported the fake account to Twitter.
The message appeared to have tricked at least one person, believed to be a learner. Joe Farren tweeted: “I believed it n went back to bed now n late.”
Tbf i believed it n went back to bed now im late😩
— Joe Farren (@fazzjoe) December 12, 2017
The confusion mounted, though, when NWHC tweeted later in the morning to say it had decided to close its sites after all, “due to the continuing adverse weather conditions”.
“The safety of our staff and students is paramount and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will re-open 13 Dec,” the tweet said.
A spokesperson for the college explained further.
“This morning, we started to receive reports that a fake Twitter account has been set up announcing that North Warwickshire and Hinckley College would be closed all day. We retweeted that this was a fake twitter account and that the sites were actually open.”
But she added that the decision was then taken to close all of its campuses due to “the health and safety issues” that the weather posed to staff and students.