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Kiribati’s government not responsible for viral post, sorry

The pacific nation of Kiribati has a population of 115,372 (2023 est.) spread over 33 islands - although only 21 of the islands are habitable
The pacific nation of Kiribati has a population of 115,372 (2023 est.) spread over 33 islands - although only 21 of the islands are habitable - Copyright AFP/File MICHAEL J. FIELD
The pacific nation of Kiribati has a population of 115,372 (2023 est.) spread over 33 islands - although only 21 of the islands are habitable - Copyright AFP/File MICHAEL J. FIELD

It was too good to be true. The government of Kiribati on Wednesday said it was not responsible for a light-hearted social media smackdown that went viral, prompting laughs around the world. 

Earlier this week, @KiribatiGov gained notoriety when it responded to a snarky post on X — previously Twitter — where a user gently teased the Pacific Island nation for having place names like Poland, Paris, London and Banana. 

“I think Kiribati just gave up when it came time to name cities,” user @VoxDocVoxDei posted, next to a map of Kiritimati Island. 

The response from @KiribatiGov came swiftly: “Fine. You’re not invited.”

The post has been viewed 27 million times and was liked by almost half a million users.

But despite claiming to be from “The Official Account for the Republic of Kiribati”, sadly the account is not legit. 

“It’s a fake account,” senior presidential communications official Tearinibeia Enoo-Teabo told AFP.

He said that X had been approached to address the issue of the unauthorised account, but “(we) still do not know who runs it”.

If the perpetrator is on the island, he or she may be tricky to track down among the population of roughly 130,000 people.

P.S. It’s pronounced “Kir-ih-bas”, not “Kir-ih-bati”.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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