Fact Check

Did Ariana Grande Defile the American Flag?

Following a 22 May 2017 tragedy in Manchester, a photoshopped image of Ariana Grande defiling an American flag circulated.

Published May 23, 2017

An image depicts Ariana Grande defiling the American flag.

On 22 May 2017 an explosion killed more than 20 concertgoers at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; shortly afterwards, a photograph spread that purportedly depicted the singer using an American flag as toilet paper:

ariana grande american flag

Although the origin of the image isn't immediately clear, Facebook user Joe Abrahamson posted the image less than 24 hours after the Manchester attack. His post was shared over 40,000 times at the time of this writing:

ariana granda wipes her ass american flag joe abrahamson

The impetus for spreading the photograph was also unclear, but the claim was easily debunked. A reverse image search led to a July 2015 controversy (#FYoFlag) which involved a social media user going by the name Nocturnus Libertus. Grande's visage was edited onto the inflammatory photograph, which then went viral following the tragedy:

nocturnus libertus f yo flag

During a separate controversy involving Grande in 2015, a satirical article suggesting the singer joined ISIS was mistaken for legitimate news.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.