Did HBO ‘Kill’ or ‘Hide’ a Documentary About Election Hacking?
Right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich claimed recently that HBO has “killed” a documentary about the the cyber vulnerabilities of American elections:
This claim was further elevated by former Trump campaign spokeswoman and senior adviser Katrina Pierson:
Cernovich @CernovichHere is HBO in May 2020 promoting a documentary they produced on election hacking. They claimed it’s easy! They hosted Democrat Senators and House members. Kill Chain was the title. Good luck finding the film, HBO seems to have killed it. https://t.co/LE0W6pCLZl
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also suggested that HBO had “pulled the plug” on the documentary after the 2020 election:
Cernovich @CernovichHere is Politico reviewing HBO’s documentary on election hacking. Kill Chain. Do read this, especially the part about Georgia. https://t.co/ffVlubDxzG
The Dispatch Fact Check emailed Cernovich about his claims, alerting him that we were “currently looking into claims of yours that HBO has removed their documentary Kill Chain from their website. The documentary is still available there, and is also available to rent from several other websites. I wanted to give you the chance to comment before my article is published.”
Cernovich responded: “Where did I say it was removed from their site? Click on the link from my post and you’ll see that the video is unlisted. ‘Unlisted’ means the video has been hidden unless you have the link. You are lying about what I posted.”
HBO’s YouTube channel hosting the video as “unlisted” is not a new phenomenon: The video has been unlisted since at least August 10, 2020, the earliest version of the page archived in the Wayback Machine. Unlisted videos can't be found through searching for them and are only accessible if you have the link.
In a followup email, Cernovich stated: “You wrote: ‘I'm currently looking into recent claims of yours that HBO has removed their documentary Kill Chain from their website.’ I did not claim that in my post. My exact post: ‘Watch HBO’s documentary on election hacking, which they made in 2020 and then stopped promoting (can’t imagine why they wouldn’t watch their film more widely seen 🤔), before it’s taken down totally.’”
Cernovich is referring to a separate tweet that followed his original, broader claims.
Greene later corrected herself in a tweet, though she still left her original tweet online.
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