Newport councillor claims Twitter account was hacked
10:32am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Gwent news
A POLITICIAN claimed her Twitter account was hacked when it sent a message saying she wanted to rip another councillor's head off.
A message was posted from the Twitter account of Newport councillor Debbie Harvey during Tuesday's full council meeting that said: "Newport budget I want to rip fouweather's head off[sic]".
The message, sent at 6.06pm on Tuesday evening during a full council meeting, was thought to refer to senior Tory councillor David Fouweather.
Cllr Harvey, who was elected to the Alway ward in May, said Twitter confirmed her account was compromised.
The tweet was deleted shortly after it was posted on Tuesday night. Her account has since been protected to stop people who don't already follow her from seeing it, and the accounts of some Argus journalists have been blocked from following her.
Cllr Harvey, who battled for victims following the collapse of Farepak, said the tweet did not come from her and was not a direct message meant for someone else.
She said Twitter are looking into it for her: "I've already had contact from Twitter saying the account has been breached. That's why my account was blocked. If I have got something to say I say it. I don't tweet it."
Asked why she blocked an Argus journalist, she said: "That's my choice."
Cllr Fouweather said he had no comment on the issue and was seeking advice, but has raised the matter with a legal officer at Newport council.
A council spokeswoman said its code of conduct does not stop councillors from tweeting during meetings, adding: "The security of personal accounts is the responsibility of the individuals and we understand that on this occasion the councillor believes their account was compromised."
Carl Morris of Cardiff social media consultancy NativeHQ said he couldn't comment on this case but said it is important to be mindful of the security of an account.
Mr Morris said a weak password can make an account vulnerable, while fake websites can gather login details.
"It's important to be wary of this, and mindful of the security of your account," he said, adding that it is also worth checking applications authorised to access your account.