Last night, CNN anchor Hala Gorani created a minor twitter storm after she tweeted an image of a four year old Syrian boy, set against the vastness of the Jordan desert with the words “UN staff found 4 year-old Marwan crossing desert alone after being separated from family fleeing”. There were massive shared of the tweet and multiple news outlets carried the story of Marwan.
But a short while later, Andrew Harper, a representative of the UN’s Refugee Agency in Jordan was issuing his own tweets to clarify the situation. It appears that the image was selectively shot, and misleadingly tagged. Marwan was just a short distance behind his family, as often happens with groups of refugees, the small, the elderly or the sick find themselves lagging behind at points.
The issue here is that Hala Gorani’s original tweet has been shared over 8,000 times and has been picked up and published in multiple international media outlets across the world. The corrections have received between 100 and 450 retweets and at time of writing just one news outlet (Metro) has run the story as a correction.