Tweet falsely claims video shows Taliban hanging someone from helicopter

Flight was actually an attempt to fix a flag over a public building

Photos and videos went viral on social media this week, showing what appeared to be a man dangling from a helicopter in Afghanistan. Several pundits, and even Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed it showed a man being hanged by the Taliban.

The blurry, 11-second video clip was viewed millions of times on Twitter, but there was no context. The BBC uncovered additional footage, which showed the man alive, with images that show the man waving the Taliban flag.

Officials in Kabul told the BBC that the flight was an attempt to fix a flag over a public building. The man dangling from the helicopter was wearing a harness. The Washington Post reported the same.

Multiple outlets found that the original claim of a man being hanged came from a satirical comedian on Twitter.

Cruz later deleted the tweet after he acknowledged it “may be inaccurate.”

Misinformation has been plentiful since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

Previously, Trust Index debunked another viral video that claimed to show Afghans trying to flee at the city’s airport. That video, however, came from a 2019 Dallas Cowboys game.

Read more:

How to spot and verify misinformation you find on the internet

This video circulating on Twitter is not Kabul airport chaos, but video from Dallas Cowboys game


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.