CNN Removes iReport Videos Linked to ‘Breathtaking Scam’

By Mark Joyella 

CNN has removed user-generated videos iReport videos linked to a Pakistani company suspected of running one of the world’s largest diploma mills.

The company, Axact, was featured in a report in The New York Times. In the report, a retired FBI agent describes the company’s educational offerings as “a breathtaking scam.”

The Times reviewed the company’s websites, which used iReport videos and the iconic CNN logo to suggest the company was legitimate:

The sources described how employees would plant fictitious reports about Axact universities on iReport, a section of the CNN website for citizen journalism. Although CNN stresses that it has not verified the reports, Axact uses the CNN logo as a publicity tool on many of its sites.

Those videos have now been removed, and a producer’s note reads “this iReport has not been verified by CNN. It reportedly contained false and misleading claims. It has been pulled for violating our site’s Terms of Use.”