Within days of Donald Trump tweeting about the start of a new nuclear arms race, Pakistan’s defense minister was duped by a fake news story and brandished his own country’s nuclear weapons on Twitter. 
If you missed the tweet, here it is:
The Israeli threat of “nuclear retaliation” he’s responding to in this tweet never actually happened. It was all made up by a fake news site. But it still provoked a very real response from Defense Minister Asif, one that should worry us all. Between them, Israel and Pakistan have about 180 nuclear weapons — more than enough to kill hundreds of millions of people in a conflict, and put billions more at risk of starvation from far-reaching global climate disruption.
This is a sign of the dangerous times we’re living in: Social media, fake news and impulsive leaders make for a volatile combination. But with nuclear weapons in the mix, it puts the whole world at risk.
The Global Zero movement is working hard to put an end to that risk, not just in the United States, but in many of the countries with nuclear weapons. We need your help now more than ever. Can you give today?
Luckily, this tweet is where the nuclear saber-rattling ended — this time. But right now and at any moment, an incredibly small group of people in the nine nuclear-armed nations can light the world on fire.
No one can be trusted with that kind of power. If that wasn’t clear before, 2016 has certainly brought that into focus. Something as seemingly small as a tweet carries the potential for dangerous escalation and nuclear conflict.
We can’t continue to put the fates of entire nations in any one person’s hands. That’s why we’re working so passionately to dismantle the unjust, autocratic and terrifyingly destructive nuclear systems all over the world — and to eliminate these horrific weapons once and for all.
Thank you so much for considering.
Global Campaign Director
 “Fake news story prompts Pakistan to issue nuclear warning to Israel,” The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/26/fake-news-story-prompts-pakistan-to-issue-nuclear-warning-to-israel