All morning, outlets from the Today Show to Forbes were sharing a new angle on the brutal attacks that struck Paris on Friday: Could the attacks have been planned on a PlayStation 4? At a conference, Belgian federal interior minister Jan Jambon described ISIS's preference for the platform and many outlets described a Playstation 4 being found at the apartment of one of the attackers, which was enough for the story to spread across dozens of different sites.
There's only one problem: the interview took place three days before the Paris attacks. The Forbes reporter who championed the PlayStation connection, including new details about a PlayStation 4 being found at an attacker's apartment, has now admitted to Kotaku that he got the story wrong, entirely inventing the discovery of the console at the attacker's apartment. That leaves us with no evidence linking the PlayStation 4 or Sony networks to the Paris attacks.
There's some precedent for Jambon's claims. In Austria last year, a 14-year-old boy was arrested after downloading bomb-making plans onto his PlayStation, after making contact with ISIS sympathizers online. But the download wasn't secret, and he didn't get away with it. In May, the boy was sentenced to two years in jail.
Still, it's a remarkable example of how false information can spread in the wake of a tragedy. After a full news cycle, tens of thousands of people have now been informed of the PlayStation 4's possible role in the Paris attacks, a connection that has little to no basis in fact. The Verge has reached out to Minister Jambon for confirmation, and will update with any response.