TV personality and retired wrestling star Hulk Hogan has fallen victim to a rather insidious Twitter prank. Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, was contacted by Twitter user @CarlRoney with an image of a little girl who he claimed was his niece.
The social media troll asked if the Hulk could send out a retweet for his niece who just won a game of hide and seek and who loves watching Hulk Hogan. Hogan agreed to send out a tweet of the man’s niece. What Hogan apparently didn’t know was that the image in the retweet was not of the man’s niece. The little girl in the photo was Madeleine McCann.
— Metro (@MetroUK) March 8, 2015
McCann has been missing since 2007. The daughter of British parents was allegedly abducted from the family’s apartment at a resort in Portugal. Despite the best efforts by members of the international community, it’s not known what happened to Madeleine at this time. McCann was just three when she vanished.
The serious and puzzling nature of the tragedy involving little Madeleine McCann made it unfathomable that someone would use an image of her to play a joke on Hulk Hogan. Thousands of Twitter users contacted Hulk Hogan about the horrific tweet, attempting to alert him to the truth of the social media post. Not too many seemed angry with Hulk Hogan over the blunder. Some Twitter users were upset on the 61-year-old celebrity’s behalf.
According to the Daily Express, one Twitter user defended the wrestler over the mix-up.
“In Hulk Hogan’s defense he lives in America and probably doesn’t even know who Madeleine McCann even is.”
The same kindness was not shown to the man responsible. Twitter user @CarlRoney has been the target of a huge backlash over his joke. Not understanding why people felt he went too far, the man has spent much of the day defending his tweet.
However, the notoriety became too much for the prankster. Since sending the Madeleine McCann tweet to Hulk Hogan, the man has deleted his Twitter profile, image, and set all of his tweets to private. This was his page prior to the lock.
The Madeleine McCann tweets have since been deleted by both parties. However, the prank has since gone viral.
As unfortunate as the Hulk Hogan prank is, it’s not the first time that a celebrity has been duped by malicious internet trolls.
As pointed out by the Metro, Business tycoon Donald Trump was once asked to retweet an image of serial killers Fred and Rose West who a person claimed was his “parents who passed away.”
[Image Credit: WWE, @CarlRoney]