Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

An injured man waits for help at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) An injured man waits for help at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

An injured man waits for help at the explosion scene that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg August 5, 2020

Running internet prank ties US comedian to Beirut blast

If Your Time is short

  • Since 2015, posts have said comedian Sam Hyde was behind multiple mass shootings.

  • A prank post cited the BBC and the New York Times as saying Hyde was the perpetrator of the explosion in Beirut.

On social media, the name Sam Hyde goes with senseless death like bacon goes with eggs.

Internet trolls have put forth the name as the killer at mass shootings from Parkland, Fla., to Las Vegas to Orlando, and more. They tied the name to the 2015 Paris attacks, not to mention saying Hyde was the mastermind behind the coronavirus.

And now, just as absurdly, the name has been linked to Beirut and the devastating explosion there.

Under the line "They've confrimed it. Hunt this sick dog down," a Facebook post had side-by-side images of what looked like reports from the New York Times and the BBC. The one from the Times said "Sam Hyde identified as perpitrator of Beirut explosion." The BBC headline was "Lebanese police confrim Samuel Hyde is behind the explosion."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

The careful reader will spot the misspellings in both the headlines and the post itself.

The joke wasn’t lost on the people who responded. "This man’s kill count is now higher than Genghis Khan," said one.

Sam Hyde is a real person, but not a killer. He’s a comedian with a right-wing bent whose name got picked up in 2015 by anonymous users of the far-right image-sharing site 4chan and attached to various incidents of deadly violence. In the immediate aftermath of a 2017 mass shooting in Texas, a U.S. congressman fell for a bogus post and told CNN that Hyde had been named as the shooter.

No need for you to be fooled. This is more Sam Hyde Pants-on-Fire nonsense.

 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Jon Greenberg

Running internet prank ties US comedian to Beirut blast

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up