X, formerly Twitter, suspends account impersonating vice finance minister after rare warning by Japan Ministry of Finance
X, formerly Twitter, has suspended a fraudulent account after Japan’s Ministry of Finance took the unusual step of issuing a public warning about it.
The account impersonated Masato Kanda, Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs, at a time when investors are bracing for changes to the government’s monetary policy.
Kanda’s remarks can cause significant changes to the value of the yen compared with other currencies, as they may be taken as reflecting the ministry’s plans.
“A Twitter impersonation account (Masato Kanda @Jgghkj_) posing as vice minister Kanda Masato of the Ministry of Finance of Japan was confirmed,” the Ministry of Finance wrote on its official X account.
The ministry added that an account operated by Kanda or his staff “does not exist”.
It said it was “currently requesting that X (formerly Twitter) suspends the impersonation account”.
The account appeared to have been suspended, with a notice saying it had violated “Twitter Rules”.
The account, created in March, showed only five posts to date, including three pictures of Kanda posted on 1 March and another posted last week that impersonated Kanda’s recent trip to Ukraine.
It followed about 5,000 accounts and was followed by just over 550. The account had made no remarks about the yen or financial markets.
This time, a Twitter impersonation account (Masato Kanda @Jgghkj_) posing as Vice Minister Kanda Masato of the Ministry of Finance of Japan was confirmed. Twitter account owned by himself and his staff does not exist.
— 財務省 (@MOF_Japan) August 3, 2023
Kanda has been a central figure in Japan’s efforts to address the decline in value of the yen.
Ahead of the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting from 27-28 July Kanda delivered his latest warning about a recent rapid drop in the yen’s value, saying the government was “not ruling out” any options for dealing with excessive volatility.
Twitter and X has been criticised for being less active in its efforts to curtail misinformation and fake accounts since the firm’s takeover last October by Elon Musk, who fired more than half its staff and has made continual changes to company policies.