Social media users shared screenshots of fake CNN and BBC news tweets claiming that a CNN reporter named Bernie Gores was captured and executed by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Examples can be viewed here and here.
The text of a tweet from an account called CNN Afghanistan read: “#BREAKING: #CNN reporter ‘Bernie Gores’ was executed by #Taliban soldiers in #Kabul. Currently, we are working with US officials to allow more Multiple journalists leaving #Afganistan (sic). Our hearts go out to Bernie’s family.”
There were also posts showing a tweet with similar text, and a photo of the same person from a Twitter account called BBC Afghanistan with the handle @BBCAfghanNews, pictured.
However, neither account is shown as verified in these Twitter screenshots, and both have been banned (here).
A reverse Google Image search for the person in the photo shows YouTuber Jordie Jordan (twitter.com/worgodicp?lang=de) (here).
“This is a fictional story and a false post,” Matt Dornic, CNN’s director of strategic communications, told Reuters by email.
Fact checkers Snopes and PolitiFact refute this claim (here) and (here), noting that photos of Jordan continued to circulate after the August 2020 Beirut bombing.
According to CNN (here) and Reuters (here), journalists in the region remain at risk.
Incorrect. The story of CNN reporter Bernie Gores’ execution by the Taliban in Kabul is a fabrication.