FACT CHECK: Image Falsely Links Sam Hyde To Beirut Explosion
An image shared on Facebook claims controversial comedian Sam Hyde has been identified as the perpetrator of the recent explosion in the Lebanese city of Beirut.
Lebanese authorities have not identified Hyde in connection to the Beirut explosion. The pictured articles are fabricated.
Shortly after a massive explosion occurred in Beirut on Aug. 4, people on Facebook shared an image identifying Hyde as the alleged perpetrator. Hyde is a controversial comedian and member of the comedy group Million Dollar Extreme.
The image features headlines, purportedly from The New York Times and BBC News, that link him to the deadly blast. The supposed New York Times headline reads, “Sam Hyde Identified as perpitrator (sic) of Beirut explosion,” while the alleged BBC News headline says, “Lebanese police confrim (sic) Samuel Hyde is behind the explosion.”
The articles have been fabricated. Neither The New York Times nor BBC News published articles linking Hyde to the explosion, searches of their respective websites show. (RELATED: Is Sam Hyde The YouTube HQ Shooter?)
Internet hoaxes often spread false information that Hyde is behind mass shootings and other tragedies. The origins of naming Hyde as the suspect in such events are unclear, but the community on the anonymous messaging board 4chan is often credited with spreading the rumors, according to Forbes.
It’s unclear what exactly caused the massive Beirut explosion. Lebanon’s prime minister said an investigation would focus on possible negligence in the storage of ammonium nitrate, an explosive chemical often used in fertilizer, at the city’s waterfront, according to CNN. After a fire broke out nearby, the chemical compound is believed to have ignited, per the Wall Street Journal.
At least 137 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in the blast, The New York Times reported.