Fact Check-Screenshot of BBC News report on Russia is fake

Social media users are sharing an altered screenshot of a BBC television news broadcast, with a faked text banner that appears to show the BBC itself saying that Russia “is not a true democracy”. The banner is clearly not authentic and has been superimposed onto the screenshot. The BBC did not broadcast it.

Examples of the manipulated screenshot can be seen ( here ) and ( here ).

The posts show an image of BBC news presenter Huw Edwards speaking over a screen caption – known as a chyron - that reads: “BREAKING NEWS: Footage of police violently suppressing anti war protests. This proves Russia is not a true democracy”. Comments below the image in posts are split between people saying the caption shows the BBC is biased, and many more people saying that the caption is fake.

There are clear signs that the image has been manipulated.

A watermark on the right side of the photo has the words “made with mematic”. Mematic is an app that can create a variety of images ( ). Another fake news report created with the same app can be seen ( here ).

The image of Huw Edwards is also old. The Guardian newspaper used it to illustrate an article about the BBC’s audience in July 2019, more than two years before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began ( here ).

Reuters found no evidence that BBC News ever reported a story with this text and a representative of the BBC told Reuters via email that the screenshot is fake.

There are no such articles or clips on the BBC website ( here ), ( here ).

The BBC’s News at Ten programme uses a different chyron design ( here ) (this link may not work for people outside the UK) from the one seen in the posts.


Altered. The screenshot of a BBC News broadcast has been manipulated.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work   here   .