Having breathlessly reported that Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz was a member of a white supremacist group, media outlets across the world failed to issue retractions when it emerged that this story was completely fake news.
The farce began when the Anti-Defamation League and Associated Press reported that a representative of the Republic of Florida Militia, a group that believes in a “white ethnostate,” told them that Cruz was a member of the organization.
However, it quickly emerged that the story had begun as a prank on the notorious 4chan messaging board after members had convinced another individual, Jordan Jereb, to falsely tell the media that Cruz was an “affiliate” of the white supremacist group.
This was then picked up by the ADL and the Associated Press and reported as fact. In reality, Cruz was never a member of the group, which is based in Tallahassee, about 430 miles away from where the shooting took place.