Fake image from news article pokes fun at monkey pox and climate change

The claim: Image shows a Journal article about a man dying of monkeypox while skydiving after his parachute failed

More than 100 people have shared an image which shows an alleged screenshot of an article by The Journal, an independent Irish news agency, claiming that a man died of monkeypox while skydiving.

“Man whose parachute failed to open due to climate change dies of monkeypox,” read the headline. This is followed by a caption which reads: “‘He didn’t stand a chance,’ paramedics said. ‘His body was riddled with smallpox and he was most certainly dead before impact.’ The alleged news article includes an image of a person skydiving.

A version of the claim, shared in a Facebook post, received around 150 likes and 40 shares.

But, the image is altered. A spokesperson for the Journal said it had not published such an article.

Although The Journal debunked the fabricated image more than a month ago, it has continued to spread online.

A user who shared the post claimed it was a “travesty” when reached by USA TODAY.

But not everyone seems to realize that the image is not authentic.

Among the many “haha” reactions to the posts, users are wondering if the headline is real.

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USA TODAY has reached out to several users who shared the image for comment.

The newspaper: the image is false

There is no evidence that The Journal published such a story. It does not appear on the outlet’s website.

The Journal published its own article debunking the viral image as false, stating that the image “appears to be an attempt to parody the coverage of both climate change and monkeypox”.

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The Journal’s editor-in-chief, Susan Daly, also said by email that the news agency had never published a story with that headline.

“Any image circulating on social media as such is fake,” she said.

This is the second time an edited photo has been created to impersonate The Journal in the past two months. In August, The Journal published an article debunking an image that made it seem like the outlet had published false information about monkeypox.

Our opinion: Modified

Based on our research, we’re rating ALTERED an image that purports to show a Journal article about a man dying of monkeypox while skydiving after his parachute failed. There is no record of the article’s existence, and Journal Media’s editor said it was fake.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • The Journal, August 9, debunked: No, the Journal did not report a man died of monkeypox after his ‘parachute’ failed
  • Susan Daly, September 14, email interview with USA TODAY
  • The Journal, August 9, debunked: no, the Journal did not report that monkeypox lives in toilets for 120 years
  • The Journal, August 9, 2016, Thirteen paratroopers parachute from burning plane after bird sets engine on fire
  • Basin Tackle Charleston, September 13, exchange of direct messages with USA TODAY
  • Unofficial: Info, September 12-13, direct message exchange with USA TODAY

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