The Syrian Electronic Army, a pro-Assad hacker organization, hijacked The Onion‘s Twitter feed on Monday, posting a series of anti-Qatari, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-Syrian rebel tweets. All of the messages were written in fluent, colloquial English; several included attached image files that made use of popular Reddit memes such as Fry from “Futurama.”
In response, the Onion, which deleted the hacked tweets, posted a series of articles with titles like “Syrian Electronic Army Has A Little Fun Before Inevitable Upcoming Deaths At Hands Of Rebels,” and “Onion Twitter Password Changed To OnionMan77.”
Compared with mainstream news outlets such as the New York Times, the Onion–which as a satirical fake newspaper has leeway that conventional publications lack–has been a vocal proponent of Syrian military intervention by the United States. The Syrian Electronic Army is allegedly responsible for hacking the AP’s Twitter feed, along with the BBC, and a host of others. It left a trail of breadcrumbs in the attack: Its bad jokes, which hinted at its ideological stance, and its IP addresses, which could be traced back to the Middle East.