America's nuclear arsenal includes around 3,800 stockpiled warheads and 2,385 retired warheads, according to Federation of American Scientists estimates. With a total of 6,185 warheads, and around 100 being all it might take to totally screw humanity, you'd hope they would be in a pretty safe pair of hands. Someone who really knows their stuff.
Well, it appears the US's nuclear arsenal is in the hands of a man who shared the same obvious Instagram hoax your grandpa did, under the supervision of a man who just attempted and failed to buy Greenland.
Rick Perry, who as part of his role as US secretary of energy oversees the nuclear arsenal, took a long-debunked Internet hoax at face value on Wednesday. The hoax, being spread around Instagram at the moment by, it's fair to say, not-too-savvy Internet users, is a take on the early chain-email hoaxes of yesteryear.
The message he reposted to his 24,800 followers claimed that Instagram is about to impose a new rule where it can use all your photos, messages, and deleted messages and photos, and make them public. The copypasta goes on to state that by posting the message, you are explicitly telling Instagram that they are forbidden to use any of these posts under "the Rome Statute", which, as The Next Web points out, the US isn't a part of.
So proud was Perry of his post, he took it multiplatform, inviting his Twitter followers to repost his repost.
The post is of course nonsense and appeared on Facebook almost word for word in 2012, when it was also nonsense.
The governor isn't the only high-profile person to get taken in by the hoax. Julia Roberts, Deborah Messing, Judd Apatow, Julianne Moore, Rob Lowe, and Beyoncé’s mom also got tricked. However, unless there's something that Julia Roberts isn't telling us, Perry is the only one in charge of a large supply of nuclear weaponry. As people were very quick to point out.
Several people went on to offer to introduce Perry to a Nigerian prince with large sums of gold at their disposal, that can be released if he makes a small upfront payment of $100,000.
Perry has since learned his lesson about trusting badly formatted and glaringly obvious pretend legal documents on the Internet, and has since deleted the post.
Everybody, especially people in charge of nuclear arsenals, please stop trusting the last thing you saw online. Also, share this article or your bank details and a list of your darkest secrets will be made public to the whole of TikTok.