Tuesday morning, the city of Brussels was shaken by multiple bombing attacks at the airport and later at the metro station right next to the European Union headquarters.
According to the French BFMTV station, citing police sources, Belgian authorities had advanced knowledge an attack was imminent, though location and time were unclear.
During a midday press conference on Tuesday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, “What we feared has happened.”
As the world took to the internet and tuned in to their televisions for answers on these tragic events, multiple news outlets, including the Free Thought Project, were hurriedly putting out all the information we could obtain.
During this massive search and presentation of information, some disinformation made its way out on the airwaves, as well as the interwebs.
While claiming to have CCTV footage from Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels, CNN ran a clip of a chaotic scene of a smoke-filled subway tube with people running for their lives.
Citing the non-existent Twitter handle, @OnlinMagazine as their source, CNN showed a looped video of people frantically attempting to escape a burning subway while Chris Cuomo pretended he was a reporter.
The issue with this looped chaos used by CNN for dramatic effect is that it’s not from March 22, 2016, in Brussels — It’s from the April 11, 2011, bombing of the Minsk Metro in Belarus.
— First Draft (@firstdraftnews) March 22, 2016
No retraction has been made and, in fact, the video is still available for viewing on the media giant’s YouTube channel.
Since the attacks early this morning, the fake videos have gone viral, being spread all over social media. However, none of the actual CCTV footage has been released.
In instances of attacks like this one, CCTV footage is always carefully reviewed before its release. The idea that it could have been released only hours after the attacks is ridiculous, which highlights, at best, the incompetence of such a large news organization, or, at worst, a deliberate release of false information meant to deceive their viewers. Either way, this is one more reason not to trust the mainstream media.
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Update: It was brought to our attention that CNN credited the fake Twitter account @OnlinMagazine who was responsible for putting out multiple fake videos. The actual video in the clip was from @EurActiv and we are told it happened in Brussels. The Free Thought Project apologizes for the oversight.