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HomeFact checkViral Screenshot Claiming “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack” Is...

Viral Screenshot Claiming “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack” Is From A Satire Website

Soon after the Taliban fighters entered Kabul and took over Afghanistan’s presidential palace, social media posts claiming “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack” went viral. 

Social media posts included a screenshot of an article titled, “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack.” Dated 14 August, the article’s lead image includes CNN’s logo and a breaking news ticker that reads, “Taliban fighters responsibly wearing masks.”

Viral screenshot titled, "CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack"
Viral screenshot titled, “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack”

Many users on Twitter and Facebook shared this claim. One such user’s tweet reads, “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during butchering of innocent people. What a News @CNN  i mean great #TalibanTakeover #TalibanConquest #Talibans”

Another Twitter user shared the screenshot in context with the caption, “Don’t know why @ndtv is left behind in glorifying Taliban today. #KabulHasFallen.”

Screenshot of a tweet with viral screenshot titled, "CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack"
Screenshot of a tweet with viral screenshot titled, “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack”

An archived version of the post can be found here

Filmmakers Ashoke Pandit and Vivek Agnihotri also shared this claim on Twitter.

The virality of the claim on Facebook can be seen below. 

Screenshot from Facebook showing virality of posts with images titled, “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack”
Screenshot from Facebook showing virality of posts with images titled, “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack”

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi Did Not Ask PM Modi For An Answer About Olympic Medalist Neeraj Chopra In A Tweet

Fact Check / Verification

The screenshot of the article titled, “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack,” includes attribution to a website called BabylonBee.com

Viral screenshot with title, “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack”
Viral screenshot with title, “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack”

On visiting BabylonBee.com we found that the article in context was published on 14 August 2021 and shared over 160K times at the time of writing this fact-check. We also found that this is a satire site. The ‘About Us’ section of the website reads, “The Babylon Bee is the world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.”

Screenshot of the satire website The Babylon Bee's 'About Us' page
Screenshot of the satire website The Babylon Bee’s ‘About Us’ page

BabylonBee shared this article from their Twitter handle whose bio reads, “Fake news you can trust.” This tweet garnered over 35K likes and 9.4K retweets at the time of writing this fact-check. 

Further, we searched CNN’s website and official Youtube channel and found no such news headlines reported by them in the past week. 

Additionally, we performed a reverse image search of the satire article’s lead image and found that it is a 2007 file photo by Reuters. The caption along with this image published in June 2012 reads, “Masked Pakistani pro-Taliban militants who are supporters of Maulana Fazlullah, a hardline cleric, stand guard at Charbagh, a Taliban strong hold, near Mingora, the main town of Pakistan’s Swat valley lying close to Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan in this November 2, 2007 file photo.” 

Screenshot of a report titled, "Pakistan's Fazlullah re-emerges as a security threat" from Reuters website
Screenshot of a report titled, “Pakistan’s Fazlullah re-emerges as a security threat” from Reuters website

Also Read: Message Claiming “Ministry Of Education Is Giving Free Laptops To Families” Is Fake

Conclusion

Social media posts claiming “CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during attack” are false. The viral screenshot was first published on a satire website called BabylonBee.com. 

Result: Satire

Our Sources

BabylonBee: https://babylonbee.com/about

CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/

Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/pakistans-fazlullah-re-emerges-as-a-secu-idUSBRE85R0H920120628


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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