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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 23, 2023

Unfounded claims about crisis actors amid Israel-Hamas war spread online

If Your Time is short

  • Claims this interview shows crisis actors pretending their parents were killed by Hamas attackers are unfounded.

CNN published an interview with the children of a couple who the news outlet said were killed in Israel by Hamas militants. 

But some social media users are parsing the interview for evidence that the children are actors peddling a false story about their parents dying. 

"CNN interviews kids who apparently lose parents by Hamas but their bad acting and laughing exposes the fake footage," reads text over a clip from the interview shared in an Oct. 17 TikTok post

"While they hire actors and photoshop grief we see actual women children and civilians being abliterated!! Shame on you who defend Isread," the post’s caption says, misspelling "obliterated" and "Israel."

Featured Fact-check

TikTok identified this video as part of its efforts to counter inauthentic, misleading or false content. (Read more about PolitiFact's partnership with TikTok.)

This claim is unfounded. Although the interview, which CNN published on its website Oct. 12, shows the children crying and, at times, smiling — emotional responses to trauma vary widely and can include laughing and smiling —  there’s no evidence to suggest they’re crisis actors recounting a fabricated story. 

Rather, other news organizations such as The Associated Press and an ABC News affiliate in Northwest Arkansas, near where the children’s mother was from in Missouri, have reported on the family’s ordeal. The Associated Press shared time-stamped text messages between the family members.

We rate claims this interview shows crisis actors False.


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Unfounded claims about crisis actors amid Israel-Hamas war spread online

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