Screenshots of an article allegedly about the “biggest seizure of human organs in history” from a cargo ship flooded social media feeds and triggered outrage; but users ignored a key piece of context: the story was published by a satirical website.
A Google search of the headline “Chinese authorities seize over 7,200 human penises on a cargo ship from Nigeria” led to satirical site World News Daily Report (here, archive.ph/a9rbk ).
The website includes a disclaimer at the bottom of its page that says it “assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content” and that all characters of its stories “are entirely fictional.”
The story features a photograph of the Chinese General Administration of Customs that can be seen in Alamy, a service of stock images ( bit.ly/32hFjGi ). According to its description, the image dates of April 2019 and shows a press conference on the capture of 7.48 tonnes of smuggled ivory by Chinese customs ( bit.ly/3aaLXCS ).
The article published on March 19 has been since replicated in at least five websites focused on Nigerian audiences; while some articles attribute the information to World News Daily Reports (WNDR), none acknowledge the story was intended as satire ( archive.ph/AQiwS , archive.ph/xx4d4 , archive.ph/UVPlj , archive.ph/9FziE , archive.ph/jGosQ ).
On April 13, Nigerian politician Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted about the story, as if it were authentic ( here ). “This is not joke but a serious question,” he commented.
False. A story about 7,200 Nigerian organs found in a cargo ship in China is fabricated and intended as satire.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
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