UK Daily Mail ‘Pwned’ With FBI Bank Robbery Photo
Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper led its online edition today with the headline ‘The executioner: Caught on CCTV, the horrific moment Al Shabaab gunman took deadly aim at hostages in Nairobi mall massacre’.
The problem was that the CCTV image was in fact from a 2010 bank robbery in Miramar, Florida.
A sharp-eyed reader identified it as coming from the FBI’s website (shown below in a composite image screengrab).
The reader exposed it in the story’s unmoderated comments section.
Numerous other readers recognised it as a bank robbery but appeared to believe it had happened in China.
What went wrong? And how did the newspaper come to possess the image anyway?
Just who copied it from the FBI site or elsewhere on the internet? Was it someone in their own newsroom?
A more likely explanation is that the Daily Mail received the image by email from someone claiming it to be from the Westgate Mall and the newspaper was simply ‘pwned‘ (online slang for having been tricked or dominated).
If so, it highlights a pressing problem of the 24/7 news cycle, that the rush to be first and exclusive with the news is now so hectic that there is less fact checking than ever before.