At least one TV channel and a French politician have fallen victim to a crude joke by online trolls

A French politician and a Greek TV channel have picked posts by internet trolls – spreading photos of renowned Japanese game designer Hideo Kojima and claiming he is the prime suspect in the assassination of Shinzo Abe – as a legitimate piece of news. Japan’s ex-PM was fatally wounded by a lone gunman, identified as 41-year-old Yamagami Tetsuya, on Friday.

Far-right politician Damien Rieu was apparently the first public figure to fall for the joke, as he reposted a Twitter message claiming the ex-PM was slain by “left-wing activist Samyuero Hydeo.” The message was accompanied by photos of Kojima.

He also retweeted a tweet announcing that the killer was named “Samyuero Hydeo” 🤡 pic.twitter.com/PxdQdN5NrY

— Nox Dawn 🐸 (@NoxDawn) July 8, 2022

Rieu also delved into a thread started by French left-wing politician Clementine Autain to express her condolences to Japanese people, sharing more pictures of Kojima and saying the “extreme left kills.”

In a now deleted tweet, French far-right politician Damien Rieu accused the far-left of murdering Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and used photos of game developer Hideo Kojima instead of pictures of the current suspect Tetsuya Yamagami pic.twitter.com/2zpmL5kVnD

— Nox Dawn 🐸 (@NoxDawn) July 8, 2022

While Rieu eventually deleted his misleading messages, they seem to have been picked up by the Greek ANT1 TV channel. The broadcaster used the same photos of Kojima in its roll on Abe’s assassination.

Oh my, ANT1 TV, I would bet that the man you pointed as Shinzo Abe’s assassin looks suspiciously like @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN 🤦

Another cheer for Greek Journalism 👏https://t.co/7lT3FvXgDA pic.twitter.com/IeFjOCFYht

— Konstantinos Antonopoulos (@konstantinosant) July 8, 2022

The channel also made far-reaching claims about how the suspected killer “was passionate about Che Guevara.” The assertion was apparently based solely on Kojima’s photos.

Greek news channel using pictures of Hideo Kojima wearing a Soviet ushanka, Joker t-shirt and standing next to a photo of Che Guevara – saying he’s Shinzo Abe’s assassin!? pic.twitter.com/JiwZKtA7pJ

— The Kavernacle (@TheKavernacle) July 8, 2022

Japan’s ex-PM was mortally wounded on the street in the western prefecture of Nara during a campaign event on Friday. The suspected killer was apprehended at the scene, with a seemingly hand-made weapon seized from him. The suspect reportedly told the police he “intended” to kill Abe and was dissatisfied with the former prime minister.

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