As members of the LGBTQI + community across the world observe the month of June as Pride month to mark the visibility of the queer community, a social media post claiming that Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to celebrate June 2022 as international ‘straight pride month’ is going viral. Newschecker has found the claim to be false.
The post carries a screengrab of an alleged tweet from the verified handle of the BBC World stating, ”Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to hold ‘International Straight Pride Month’ during June of 2022.”
Several users on Twitter and Facebook shared the screengrab, with captions indicating that they believed it to be true.
Links to such posts can be found here, here, here, here and here.
Several Facebook users also shared a link to a website called ‘America’s best pics & videos’ which directs to the viral image.
Links to such post can be found here and here.
The Sharia law, which governs Saudi Arabia, prohibits same-sex marriage. Under the Sharia, same-sex relationships for both men and women are criminalised with maximum penalty of a death sentence. In 2019, Saudi Arabia featured at the fourth position in Forbes list of 20 Most Dangerous Places For Gay Travelers.
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To verify the veracity of the claim that Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to celebrate ‘International Straight Pride Month’ in June 2022, we conducted keyword search for ‘Saudi Arabia International Straight Pride Month’, ‘Saudi Straight Pride Month’ on Google but did not find any news reports on the same. We also looked up the official website of the Saudi Press Agency and did not find any mention of ‘International Straight Pride Month’ being celebrated in the country.
We further looked up the official website of BBC to ascertain whether the news giant published any report on Saudi’s “International Straight Pride Month’ during June of 2022.” On conducting a keyword search for ‘Saudi Arabia International Straight Pride Month’ on BBC’s official website, no such report or article was found.
Newschecker further scanned the official Twitter account of BBC World which did not carry any such news.
On comparing the viral image with the tweets posted by the official Twitter account, we found several discrepancies. To begin with, the tweets by BBC world often have a single line in the caption, unlike the viral image which spilled onto six lines.
The tweet in the viral screengrab did not carry a link to the article either. BBC World does not post news without an article linking back to its website.
Additionally, we noticed that the blue tick symbol for verified accounts was misplaced in the viral screengrab, placed slightly above the standard placement. We also noticed a wide gap between the display name and the user name.
The colour scheme of the BBC world watermark in the viral image is also different from the one seen in the official tweets of BBC world. Apart from these, the words ‘social flow’ are seen in the date line of tweets by BBC World, however the same is not visible in the viral image.
We further inspected the link shared by several Facebook users which led us to America’s best pics & video, a website that features memes. Its Google Play description reads, “America’s best pics and videos is an application with funny pictures and videos. Our smart algorithms choose 300 funniest memes every day for your good mood.”
The viral image was posted by user ‘Foster5439’ whose profile features memes and other ‘comic’ content, helping us conclude that the screengrab originated as a meme or satire and made its way to social media platforms.
Newschecker also reached out to BBC world for their comments in the matter. Their response is awaited.
Viral screengrab claiming to show a tweet by BBC world stating that Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to hold ‘International Straight Pride Month’ during June of 2022, is fabricated. No such reporting has been done by the BBC.
Result: Fabricated Content/False
Official Website Of BBC
Office Twitter Account Of BBC News World
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