Checking the facts. Netflix CEO Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography? – Observer

Information began to circulate in English. Then it spread on Facebook in German, Italian and Portuguese. The viral post claims Reed Hastings “faces 11 charges” after being detained for possession of child pornography. As proof, the message said, there would be “meetings sent to the National Center for Missing and Abused Children” and “279 victims on the service registers would be identified …” [sic] The news is false, there is no evidence of the involvement of the co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix (a position he shares with Ted Sarandos) in such a case.

The first actions, written in English, identified the source of the story as “Toronto Today”, a website that describes itself as a “truth-telling news agency.” “99% of journalists write false information. We are part of the 1%… ”also says a post which can be read on the respective Facebook page. It was on “Toronto Today” that on September 12, an article appeared with the headline “Netflix CEO Stuck With 13,000 Child Pornography Files.” The news has since been deleted but the archive version is still available.

In the account of the alleged searches at the home of Reed Hastings, it was mentioned 11 charges which the businessman would face, as well as 279 files corresponding to “identified child victims”.

With this data, AFP’s fact-checking platform did a search and found news of the detention of a man in the state of Utah in May 2019, with exactly the same characteristics of this history. The suspect has been identified as the CEO of an IT company. Toronto Today took the case and changed the protagonist, replacing Douglas Saltsman with Reed Hastings. There are even phrases taken from a KUTV article and reproduced in the text that reports the alleged arrest of the CEO of Netflix. For example, the phrase “police also found” disturbing videos of Douglas Saltsman during sexual acts with several unconscious women “” proposed the version “police also found” disturbing videos of Reed Hastings during acts forced sex with several unconscious women “” “.

Toronto Today reports two entities involved in the Hastings affair, the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force) and the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children). AFP, Brandon Pursell, head of the ICAC in central California, assured that his unit “had not arrested” Reed Hastings.

The FBI has refused to release any statements – as has Netflix – but it also hasn’t released a statement about the alleged arrest, as it did, for example, in the media case of Joseph Sullivan, the former Uber security chief involved in a data breach scheme. thousands of users.

The Toronto Today article ends by saying that Reed Hastings’ arrest came after ‘Cuties’ debuted on Netflix, “considered by many to be the very form [do serviço de streaming] child pornography ”. It is not confirmed that this was the pretext for the creation of the fake post that went viral, but the truth is that the French film, titled “Mignonnes: Primeiros Passos” in Portugal, drew a lot of criticism for sexualizing the protagonists, who are children. The hashtag #CancelNetflix began to circulate, calling for a boycott of the platform.

There is no record of Reed Hastings’ arrest or of the possession of child pornography charges pending against him. The Toronto Today website picked up a past story in the state of Utah, where the CEO of a local business was arrested for these same crimes, and changed the name of the protagonist, retaining virtually all remaining details. of the original short story. One of the entities allegedly involved in the searches denied detaining the CEO of Netflix.

Thus, according to the Observer classification system, this content is:


In the Facebook classification system, this content is:

FALSE: Major content claims are factually inaccurate. Usually, this option matches “false” or “mostly false” classifications on fact checker websites.

NOTE: This content was selected by the Observer as part of a fact-checking partnership with Facebook.

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