The claim: Image shows CNN reporting that Russia ordered DNA test to determine male or female prison for Brittney Griner
American WNBA athlete Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony after bringing two vape cartridges containing hashish oil into the country. Griner said that she accidentally packed the cartridges into her luggage.
After a February arrest in a Moscow airport, she was held for months before being sentenced on Aug. 4.
Some social media users are sharing an image that purportedly shows CNN reporting on Griner’s treatment in Russian custody.
The image shows a CNN logo in the lower right-hand corner. On the right, Griner is pictured near what appears to be the metal bars of a holding cell. CNN news anchor Lynda Kinkade is pictured on the left, apparently mid-sentence.
A chyron extending across the bottom of both images reads: “DNA test ordered by officials to determine male or female prison.”
An August 6 Facebook post featuring the image was shared nearly 200 times in five days.
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However, the purported CNN report is fabricated, according to a CNN spokesperson.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the claim for comment.
CNN report fabricated, template used for other false claims
The report shown in the social media image is not authentic, according to CNN spokesperson Sydney Baldwin.
“This is a fabricated image and did not ever air on CNN,” she told USA TODAY in an email.
USA TODAY did not find any evidence of the report on CNN’s website.
The template featuring Kinkade and the CNN logo has previously been used to create other fabricated content. The Know Your Meme website lists several examples, including a parody news report linking a malevolent video game character to Russia.
Griner’s legal team is appealing her conviction. The US and Russia are also reportedly in talks about a potential prisoner exchange to free Griner and another American imprisoned in Russia.
Prior to her conviction and sentencing, Griner was held in a women’s detention facility outside of Moscow, according to The New York Times.
Fact-check:Altered image falsely attributes erroneous monkeypox claims to BBC, WHO and CDC
The fabricated report about Griner was debunked by other independent fact-checking organizations.
Our rating: Altered
Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image purportedly showing a CNN report that Russia ordered a DNA test to determine whether Griner should go to a male or female prison. The supposed CNN report is fabricated, according to a CNN spokesperson. The template used to create the image of the report has been used previously for fabricated content.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Aug. 4, Brittney Griner convicted on drug charges, sentenced to nine years in Russian prison
- CNN, accessed Aug. 11, Site search
- Reuters, Aug. 11, Fact Check-Fabricated CNN screenshot about Brittney Griner
- Lead Stories, Aug. 8, Fact check: No evidence officials ordered a DNA test to determine male or female prison for Brittany Griner
- Check Your Fact, Aug. 9, Fact check: Did CNN report the Russians gave Brittney Griner a DNA test to determine her gender?
- CNN, accessed Aug. 11, Lynda Kinkade
- Know Your Meme, accessed Aug. 12, CNN Chyron Parodies
- Know Your Meme, accessed Aug. 15, CNN Chyron Parodies-Very fake news
- The New York Times, July 1, Gray walls, books and a Lenin monument: A look inside the lockup where Griner has been held.
- The New York Times, Aug. 4, Russian Court Sentences Griner to 9 Years, Raising Pressure on Biden
- The Associated Press, Aug. 15, Lawyers appeal Brittney Griner’s nine-year Russian prison sentence
- The New York Times, Aug. 15, Brittney Griner Appeals Conviction Amid Talk of Prisoner Swap
- Sydney Baldwin, Aug. 11, Email exchange with USA TODAY
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism