Energy Secretary Rick Perry faces ridicule for reposting Instagram hoax

August 22, 2019

Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently came under fire for reposting a so-called “chain meme” Instagram hoax warning users that the social media company could use their private information and photos “from tomorrow” onward, Newsweek reported. But the 69-year-old soon after called it quits and deleted the post.

The hoax message read in part: “Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from tomorrow. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry. Channel 13 News talked about the change in Facebook’s privacy policy. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future.”

Not the only one

Celebrities including director Judd Apatow, actress Julia Roberts, actor Rob Lowe, and singer Usher also reposted the hoax message before Instagram announced Tuesday afternoon that it was untrue.

But critics of President Donald Trump and his administration wasted no time before slamming Perry for his mistake, citing the important nature of his position.

Perry deleted his repost after finding out it was a hoax, but not before large amounts of mockery could take place about how someone so high up in the government didn’t know the message was a fake.

Piling on

“How the hell are you in charge of the department of energy when you fall for the social media version of chain email?” one of Perry’s Instagram followers wrote. Others made fun of “Baby Boomer” social media users and the ease with which some are repeatedly duped by fake messages.

New York Times tech journalist Mike Isaac couldn’t resist piling on via Twitter.

Perry’s detractors acted as though Democrat officials have never said or posted anything spurious on social media before. Perhaps this type of misstep is so rare that they simply could not allow this opportunity to go to waste?

One does wonder, however, what the inadvertent posting of an Internet hoax could possibly have to do with the safe handling of nuclear codes.

Live and Learn

For his part, Perry tried to make light of his mistake. He even implied at one point that it could have been intentional. “I’ll be darned!! First time I’ve seen anything fake on the internet!!” Perry wrote to followers before just deleting the entire post. “OMG….seriously, you mean this is fake!!” he added.

The truth of the matter is that those in positions of great authority may best be served by following a policy of not posting anything online without first having it reviewed by support staff.

But wouldn’t the world be so much less interesting if high-ranking government officials — particularly our president — started doing just that?

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Jen Krausz

Jen Krausz is a Conservative Institute staff writer. A lifelong member of the Republican Party, she has an English degree from a liberal arts college and has contributed to numerous publications including Newsmax.