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Samsung auto-email signature accidentally reveals scripted government news story

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Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s death is absent of crucial details

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Details about the death of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi have been conspicuously absent from news reports. Despite being the first democratically elected Egyptian president, news outlets have scrubbed that information from stories of his demise in what appears to be a government-mandated description sent out to press.

As noted by Mada Masr, a majority of newspapers published the same 42-word story sent to editors as a directive via WhatsApp. In the case of at least one outlet, a news anchor did that a little too well. In the clip below, the anchor can be heard wrapping her report with “sent from a Samsung device.”

Morsi was elected in June 2012, though military forcibly removed him about a year later. The former president collapsed on Monday while in the midst of a courtroom hearing. The circumstances of Morsi’s death have been called into question by rival regimes, including that of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was aligned with Morsi during his brief rule due to both men’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood. However, human rights groups have cited Morsi’s deteriorating health over the years as the probable cause of this death. It’s unclear why the current government, led Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, instructed news outlets to scrub Morsi’s presidential history.