A fake image that shows a Cleveland murder suspect being described as a man with “dark white skin” quickly spread on social media websites like Twitter.
Murder suspect Steve Stephens remains at large after recording video of himself Sunday afternoon shooting an elderly man to death on Facebook Live. Gizmodo reported that Cleveland’s Fox 8 News broadcast a photo and description of Stephens, but did not explicitly mention his race. The picture was then altered to include a bullet point about “dark white skin” and shared online.
The fake description prompted outrage among Trump supporters and others on Twitter.
Fox 8 News released a statement pointing out that the “dark white skin” image was fake.
This image has been altered. It did not originate from FOX 8. This is a distraction from us trying to help police locate a murder suspect. pic.twitter.com/ESBeSO8Ezs
— fox8news (@fox8news) April 17, 2017
But that wasn’t enough to please some critics, who complained that the news outlet didn’t explicitly mention his race in the image.
— Deplorable Jimmy🇺🇸 (@jimdad1967) April 17, 2017
— 40's Fash'in (@40sFashin) April 17, 2017
Gizmodo’s Sidney Fussell said that fake image was likely an attempt to mock political correctness regarding race issues.
“The ‘dark white’ is an apparent sendup of how the media, paralyzed beyond sense by PC culture, refuses to identify black people as ‘black’ and hurting liberal fee-fees. Which is idiotic, of course, because accompanying pictures of Stephen illustrate beyond a doubt that he’s a man of color… the incident shows how bigots can use tragedy as currency for their own moronic points about media sensitivity and PC culture.”