A story that emerged on X (formerly known as Twitter) following the announcement of Henry Kissinger’s passing on November 29, 2023, claimed that Kissinger had rejected a board seat at OpenAI in his final days. However, this account wasn’t authentic and stemmed from a manipulated image. The supposed post attributed to The Washington Post depicted a headline asserting Kissinger’s refusal of a board position at OpenAI. Nevertheless, there was no such article published by The Washington Post on this matter.
The X post shared an image without any link or direct source, making it impossible to validate the claim easily. Despite the absence of a credible source, some individuals seemingly believed the information presented in the post. An investigation into the alleged article on The Washington Post’s website yielded no results, casting doubts on the legitimacy of the image. Moreover, close inspection revealed striking similarities between the post and Kissinger’s actual obituary, including matching heading images, author information, and publication dates, affirming the fabricated nature of the viral post.
The image, garnering over 250,000 views, was initially shared by user @nullpointered shortly after the timestamp presented in the image. Snopes conducted an inquiry and communicated with @nullpointered, who acknowledged creating the manipulated image. Further examination of the user’s post history uncovered a community note attached to the image, affirming that the post was indeed fictitious.
The viral post seemed to insinuate a connection with the recent turbulence at OpenAI, notably involving the removal and reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman. The company underwent significant changes with Mira Murati stepping in temporarily as CEO before the appointment of Emmett Shear. However, there was no indication or credible evidence to suggest Henry Kissinger’s involvement in the company’s recent controversies, as observed by Snopes in their investigation.