Sony’s PlayStation 4 was falsely reported as a tool used by the terrorists who planned the Paris attacks.
The claim, which was reported by a Forbes reporter and picked up by widely by other press outlets, pointed to a conference at which Belgian federal interior minister Jan Jambon spoke of ISIS’s preference for using the console for communication. Outlets that statement and ran with it, along the way adding that a console was found at the attacker’s apartment.
The problem was that Jambon’s interview happened three days before the attacks and was in reference to Belgium’s security weaknesses in a broad sense. And the news of the PS4 being found in an attacker’s apartment? It was an editing error, according to the Forbes reporter who admitted to gaming publication Kotaku that his story was wrong.
While this specific instance turned out to be false, there have been cases in the past where games and gaming hardware have been used by terrorists. A 14-year-old Austrian boy was arrested last year for allegedly downloading bomb-making plans to his PlayStation. The 2013 Snowden leaks also pointed to the NSA watching popular games like “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life,” presumably for hints of terror plannings.