Screenshot of Guardian op-ed by activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu on racism is fake

By: Ishita Goel
March 13 2024

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Screenshot of Guardian op-ed by activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu on racism is fake

Screenshot of social media post claiming to show an op-ed by British-Nigerian lawyer and activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu. (Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

British-Nigerian lawyer and activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu did not author the opinion piece attributed to her in The Guardian. The screenshot is fake.

Claim ID 3eb52f65

Social media users on Facebook and X have circulated a screenshot alleging to show an opinion piece from a site mimicking The Guardian. The headline, attributed to British-Nigerian lawyer and activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, claims, "Afternoon Tea is steeped in racism and white privilege. It should be banned," and was allegedly published on March 5, 2024. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

The screenshot sparked criticism of Mos-Shogbamimu in the United Kingdom, particularly on X, where some labeled her comments as 'racist.'

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the screenshot is fabricated; The Guardian published no such article.

What are the facts?

Upon inspection, the website's masthead displayed "The Grauniad" instead of The Guardian. Further investigation into The Guardian's website and archives revealed no record of such an opinion piece by Mos-Shogbamimu. The Guardian confirmed to Logically Facts that the screenshot does not correspond to any published article or headline.

Additionally, a review of Mos-Shogbamimu's social media profiles and archives showed no evidence of her posting the alleged article. On March 7, 2024, she denounced the screenshot as false on her X and Facebook accounts, clarifying she neither expressed nor endorsed the sentiment. In a subsequent X post, she humorously addressed the misinformation with a sarcastic song, accompanied by screenshots of the misleading posts.

The last article Mos-Shogbamimu wrote for The Guardian was published on March 9, 2021, focusing on Meghan Markle.

This isn't the first instance of Mos-Shogbamimu being targeted with fake screenshots of articles. Logically Facts has already debunked a fake screenshot claiming that she authored an op-ed on the British education system, as well as another that falsely claimed her support for looting in France. Similarly, fake screenshots mimicking op-ed pieces in The Guardian have been circulating for a while and have also been debunked by Logically Facts.

What is 'The Grauniad'?

The moniker "The Grauniad," a deliberate misspelling of The Guardian, is used in viral posts of counterfeit articles. This nickname, stemming from historical typographical errors in the newspaper, now appears in spoof articles. Logically Facts has debunked numerous such screenshots.

According to reports, The Guardian has taken action to shut down a parody headline generator that was likely responsible for producing such headlines. However, several copycat sites have since proliferated. One example is The Grauniad Official Parody account on X, which often generates spoof headlines. However, we could not find the viral post on this particular account.

The verdict

The viral screenshot claiming to represent an op-ed from The Guardian is fake. We found several inconsistencies, and both The Guardian and Mos-Shogbamimu have confirmed that they never published or authored the piece in question.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before