On 29 March 2016, The New Yorker published a satirical article claiming that the FBI had ruined an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter by spilling water on it:
Moments after successfully unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone, the F.B.I. rendered the phone permanently useless by spilling a glass of water on it, an F.B.I. spokesman confirmed.
Calling the accident “one of the biggest embarrassments in F.B.I. history,” bureau spokesman Harland Dorrinson told reporters, “There’s no way to express how bad we feel about what happened to that phone.”
While it’s true that the FBI recently unlocked the San Bernardino iPhone (a feat that was not without controversy) there is no truth to the claim that the device was ruined after water was spilled on it. This article is a piece of fiction from writer Andy Borowitz, a well-known satirist.
However, many people encountered the article on social media where the topic was presented without any indication that it was a work of satire:
On The New Yorker‘s web site, however, this article is accompanied by at least two “satire” tags: