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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero May 20, 2024

X account posted helicopter emoji after news of the crash involving Raisi broke, not before

If Your Time is short

  • On May 19, The Tehran Times and The Associated Press reported at 8:44 a.m. ET and 8:53 a.m. ET, respectively, that a helicopter carrying Iran President Ebrahim Raisi had crashed.

  • The Israel War Room X account posted a helicopter emoji a few minutes later at 8:58 a.m. ET.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a May 19 helicopter crash that spurred a wave of speculation and misinformation on social media.

One post showed a screenshot of an X post of a helicopter emoji from an Israel-aligned X account called Israel War Room:

"Israel War Room posted this ‘ambiguous’ emoji minutes before the news of the Iranian president’s helicopter crash landing broke across a majority of news networks around the globe," the May 20 Instagram post said. "Coincidence?"

(Screenshot from Instagram)

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

Featured Fact-check

Israel War Room, a pro-Israel account that tracks Israel-related news on Instagram and X, was not the first account to post about the helicopter crash that killed Raisi.

The Tehran Times, an Iranian newspaper in English, posted about the helicopter crash at 8:44 a.m. on May 19. The Associated Press posted about the helicopter crash at 8:53 am ET. The Tasnim News Agency, which is linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an influential paramilitary organization within Iran, also posted about the crash at 8:53 a.m. ET.

Israel War Room, which on its X profile and its domain registration lists its location as in the U.S., posted a helicopter emoji five minutes later — at 8:58 a.m. ET.

Israel War Room’s X post didn’t come before news outlets first reported news of the helicopter crash. We rate that claim False.

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X account posted helicopter emoji after news of the crash involving Raisi broke, not before

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