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MSNBC did not use ‘World War Z’ footage in broadcast

June 3, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: MSNBC knowingly used fake footage from the movie “World War Z” to show protests and push a narrative that America is on fire.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A Twitter user created what was meant to be a spoof video of MSNBC coverage from protests on Sunday using a clip from “World War Z.” Alexandra Roberts, director of communications at MSNBC, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the video was fabricated.

THE FACTS: MSNBC did not use footage from “World War Z,” a 2013 movie about a virus that turns humans into zombies, in a report Sunday. Posts circulating online Monday attacked the cable television station, falsely claiming they had used the movie footage to make protests in the U.S. appear worse.

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The manipulated video took an MSNBC report on protests Sunday and replaced the video with a clip from “World War Z.” The report actually showed protests in the U.S., including Atlanta and Philadelphia. The audio from the report and the chyron along the bottom of the report remained the same: “CURFEW IMPOSED ACROSS U.S. AS PROTESTERS HIT THE STREETS,” read the caption information under a Breaking News banner.

However, on the altered video “not real” can be found in the corner of the screen and “bad scooter,” is just above the chyron in small font. A Twitter user who goes by Bad Scooter with the handle @OfficialSlop took credit for the video.

“And I deeply apologize again, I did not expect what so ever this would spread,” the creator tweeted Monday.

The altered video was shared online as an actual news report, with some social media users grabbing a photo from the movie to pair with a still photo of the fabricated MSNBC report.

“#MSNBC using World War Z movie trailer as “Breaking News” footage of aftermath of riots and looting. Don’t believe all you see on TV,” one Twitter post with more than 2,000 likes showing the side-by-side photos said.

Protesters across the country continue to march for justice for Floyd who was killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536