Fact check: CNN headline about GameStop trade phenomenon has been digitally altered

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The week a tug of war between solo stock traders piling into GameStop and seasoned hedge funds betting against the U.S. video game retailer unleashed a wave of copycat trades, social media users shared an alleged screenshot of a CNN headline stating, “White Supremacist Internet Gamers buy Gamestop (sic) stocks to purposefully bankrupt Jewish Hedge Fund on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” The alleged headline, which incorrectly capitalizes some words and not others, is digitally altered. CNN reported no such thing.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples of posts sharing this purported screenshot can be found here , here and here .

As explained here by Reuters, a surge of retail stock trading over the last year lit the fuse that recently sent shares of GameStop Corp rocketing higher without a clear business reason, squeezing hedge funds that had bet against the video game retailer and other companies that were out of favor on Wall Street.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, online discussions about stocks on social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook appear to be gaining more influence. Investors pointed to discussion threads such as “WallStreetBets” on Reddit (here) for driving the surge in GameStop.

Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops in 1945, took place on Jan. 27 (here). The anniversary is in no way related to the GameStop short squeeze.

Matt Dornic, head of strategic communications for CNN Worldwide, told Reuters via email that the alleged CNN story, headline, and byline (which credits a reporter named “Moshie R. Horowitz”) were all fake.

“CNN did not publish that piece, nor do we employ a writer by that name,” Dornic said. “It’s clear that the image’s creator is trying to pass off anti-Semitism as some sort of satire. It’s not cute or clever – it’s hateful and disgusting.”

Actual headlines for recent CNN stories on the GameStop craze include “GameStop’s ascent: Reddit traders vs hedge funds” (here) and “The GameStop phenomenon has gone global” (here).

Reuters found no stories from CNN reporting what the posts claim it did.

VERDICT

Altered. CNN did not report a story with the headline “White Supremacist Internet Gamers buy Gamestop (sic) stocks to purposefully bankrupt Jewish Hedge Fund on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” The image has been digitally altered.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here .