Cuban state media has attacked the micro-blogging site Twitter for spreading rumours that its former leader Fidel Castro had died.
The rumour appears to have come from anti-Castro expatriates who the state-run Cubadebate website dubbed “necrophiliac counter-revolutionaries.”
The rumour started with an account holder called “Naroh” who posted the rumour from an Italian server and then quickly deactivated the account.
Cubadebate said that Twitter helped spread the disinformation by allowing the hash tag “fidelcastro” to become a trending topic.
It swiftly became the fourth most popular hash tag in the world and meant that the rumour continued to spread even after denials.
Cubadebate claimed that Twitter was anti-Cuba and had censored subjects that were in favour of the Cuban government.
The site said that anti-Castro expatriates want to see Castro’s demise and kept the rumour going.
Castro is 85 and is officially retired, although he occasionally publishes opinion columns.
In recent months, Castro has alluded to the limits of age but has also taken pride in his longevity.
It is the second time that there have been internet rumours about Castro’s death. In August there was a computer virus embedded in a spam email titled “Fidel is Dead”, which featured a doctored, grainy photograph of the former Cuban leader lying in a coffin.
According to AP Castro sent a get-well letter to a Cuban baseball star that was read over state television last week.