Social media users have mistaken as authentic a headline about former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, taken from a fictional article that describes itself as satirical.
The headline, “Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal arrested for child porn,” was shared on social media in a screenshot (here).
The headline and photo can be traced to an article published on Dec. 23 by the Vancouver Times website (here).
An update was added at the bottom of that article saying it is satire. A spokesperson for Vancouver Times also told Reuters via email that the article is satire, and that the Vancouver Times is a satire website.
The publication identifies itself as a “trusted source for satire” on its about-us page (here).
But the article is not overtly humorous and social media users have shared and commented on the headline as if it is real. One Facebook user shared a link to the article with the remark, “The news from Twitter gets better every day! Parag Agrawal the former CEO of Twitter, has been arrested for possession of child pornography after a tip off from Elon Musk.” (here).
Another Facebook user shared the screenshot of the headline with the comment, “Not surprised” (here).
Agrawal did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
No evidence. An article about the former CEO of Twitter being arrested for child porn was labeled as satire by the website that published it.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.