Broadcaster Piers Morgan has had his Twitter account hacked and then wiped after a series of offensive messages were posted on the feed.
The 57-year-old had sent a variety of messages regarding Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham United on the resumption of the Premier League calendar before the account was taken over by posts taking aim at various celebrities, including the Royal Family.
The hackers, who later branded themselves “The Chuckling Squad,” also changed Morgan’s username on the account – which has over eight million followers – at one point to “Piers ****”.
The group threatened to leak direct messages with a string of high-profile names in the now-deleted posts during the 50-minute attack.
Several other accounts were similarly targeted at around 3am UK time before the messages were scrubbed in an incident that raised further questions about Twitter’s security since being taken over by Elon Musk earlier this year.
In the wake of the takeover at the end of October, researchers reported spikes in hate speech and some users began migrating to other social media platforms.
More than half of the company’s global workforce of more than 7,000 was laid off, then an ultimatum was issued to those remaining which told them to agree to more “hardcore” working with longer hours or leave – this prompted further departures.
Following an incident where a number of journalists had their accounts suspended over their coverage of Mr Musk, for which he was again heavily criticised, the Twitter owner posted a poll asking users if he should step down as head of the platform, adding that he would “abide” by the result.
Over 57% said he should.