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2021.10.26 17:45

Twitter users donate money to Lithuanian ‘victim’ of Covid certificates

Jurga Bakaitė, LRT.lt2021.10.26 17:45

A person, who calls himself a “Lithuanian father, husband, and forager of wild mushrooms”, caused a stir on Twitter when he claimed that his family could no longer survive due to restrictions introduced to people without the national Covid certificate.

The man shares his experience on Twitter. His account @gluboco has 10,500 followers. All his posts are written in rich and grammatically correct English. A few Lithuanian influencers, critical of the national Covid certificate, have reshared his stories.

“With no Covid Pass, my wife and I are banished from society. We have no income. Banned from most shopping. Can barely exist,” one of his tweets reads.

In a few weeks, the man has written over 80 posts about his life without the Covid certificate.

Some of the man’s posts are true. For example, he complained about not being able to go to toy and clothes shops, grocery stores.

In Lithuania, people who do not have the Covid certificate can only access indoor marketplaces and shops selling essential goods that are smaller than 1,500 square metres.

But the Twitter page also spreads lies.

“We went to the dentist we've attended for years for an appointment for one of my children, but had to leave because I don't have a Covid Pass,” one of the posts said.

Representatives of the Lithuanian Chamber of Dentists confirmed to LRT.lt that all dental services in the country are provided without the Covid certificate.

The account itself is suspicious as it does not reveal who is behind it. Created a few weeks ago, it already has thousands of followers, a fifth of which are fake, according to analysts.

“The account’s behaviour, including a very fast increase in the number of followers, resembles a troll behaviour,” said Lukas Andriukaitis, a disinformation analyst.

Most of @gluboco’s tweets have been shared thousands of times. Some people even asked if they could help the family financially. Stories from the Twitter page were also featured in several online news stories.

According to Andriukaitis, however, most of the pages that shared @gluboco’s posts are unknown and resemble fake news websites.

“All of this shows that [the Twitter page] is part of a larger information operation,” he said.

LRT.lt tried to reach the man behind the Twitter page via the email provided but has not received a response.

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