CLAIM: Fox News aired a chyron referring to the suspect in Monday’s University of North Carolina shooting as a “mostly white Asian male.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The network did not air that chyron, a spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press. A screenshot of Fox’s actual coverage was edited to change the text.
THE FACTS: As information about a fatal shooting of a faculty member at UNC’s Chapel Hill campus trickled out Monday, the bogus image spread across social media platforms with suggestions that it was evidence of an effort to manipulate the narrative around race.
The chyron in the supposed screenshot, which includes a photo of the suspect, reads: “SHOOTER DESCRIBED AS ‘MOSTLY WHITE ASIAN MALE.’”
“They’re making up designations to try & advance the phantom of white supremacy,” wrote one user sharing the image on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “The media is desperate to keep this narrative.”
But Fox News did not air that chyron.
“This is completely false and did not air,” Fox spokesperson Irena Briganti said in an email.
“UNC POLICE RELEASE PICTURE OF PERSON OF INTEREST,” the chyron read at one point. It later read: “POLICE: IF YOU SEE THIS PERSON, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE.”
On Tuesday, police charged Qi, a graduate student at the university, with first-degree murder in the shooting.
Qi, 34, is due in court later Tuesday for an initial hearing in the killing of Zijie Yan inside a science building on the campus. In addition to the murder count, he is charged with having a gun on educational property.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.