‘Reports of death greatly exaggerated’: Snowden quashes murder rumor with Twain tweet
In a less-than-140-character message on the social networking site, Snowden cited the famous 19th century American writer, alongside his picture, to quash the rumors of his death.
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. pic.twitter.com/ZgIkapmcOC— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) August 15, 2016
Rumors of Snowden being kidnapped or killed got blown way out of proportion after the whistleblower sent two mysterious tweets, both of which were then deleted and no further tweets sent.
While many of his Twitter followers welcomed the news, the tweet still isn’t enough “proof of life” for everyone, with some requesting a video message in case his account had been hacked.
@Snowden can u say that in a video message? ;) maybeeeeeeee...someone hacked your account?! ;))— Þeodisk ЯantaloT (@vertigonix) August 15, 2016
@Snowden That's what an assassin that took over your Twitter account would say!— Street_Dogg (@Street_Dogg) August 15, 2016
@Snowden Have you thought about Vlogging or anything? If you were assassinated, it'd be harder to mimmick.— Me (@megaspel) August 15, 2016
Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena released a statement on August 8 saying suggestions of Snowden’s death were unfounded and that a number of “people interested in speculating on this matter” had spread such theories “for the last several years.”
“I can authoritatively say that he is alive and well, he is living in Russia and is busy with his favorite work, and the appearance of certain symbols in his Twitter does not mean that he is in danger of some sort,” said Kucherena. “This is an attribute of his work and there is nothing bad about it.”
Glenn Greenwald, a close associate of Snowden, also tweeted to say Snowden was “fine,” a number of days after the rumors began spreading.
The New York Journal famously asked Twain in 1897 about the reports that he was on his deathbed, to which he famously quipped: "The report of my death was an exaggeration."