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No, Saudi Arabia Did Not Behead Its First Female Robot Citizen

Sophia the robot still has a head on her shoulders.

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A satirical article about Saudi Arabia beheading its first female robot citizen is being widely shared — and believed — online.

duffelblog.com

The Duffel Blog article, which has almost 120,000 engagements on Facebook, has been posted by many people who did not realize it is satire. It says Sophia the robot, world's first robot citizen, was stoned and beheaded because it was "strutting around the city without a male escort, without a hijab, fluttering her plastic eyelashes at married men while expressing opinions of her own."

A look at the Duffel Blog's "about" page shows the website is meant to be comedic.

"We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization," the section says.

It also claims the publication was started in 1797 and that they reported on "President John Adams’ $200 per week cocaine habit in March 1799."

The website was once called a "military version of The Onion." In 2012, even Mitch McConnell fell for one of its articles.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

As Wired reported, after reading a satirical Duffel Blog article that said Guantanamo detainees were still receiving GI Bill benefits, McConnell wrote a concerned letter to the Pentagon liaison.

The subject of the robot story really does exist, but she hasn't been beheaded. Sophia made headlines this October after being granted citizenship by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The robot, made to look like Audrey Hepburn, was created by David Hanson of Hanson Robotics. After being unveiled, it showcased its artificial intelligence by shading Elon Musk and owning Jimmy Fallon at rock paper scissors.

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Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

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