Does an image called "Mexico did it," referring to a supposed COVID-19 cure in Mexico, actually spread a virus within five seconds when opened on a phone and did CNN and the BBC report about this? No, that's not true: Lead Stories could find no online evidence that an image file that causes a virus on a cellphone even exists or that CNN and the BBC reported about it. A Google search showed no credible reports from any national and international news outlets about a virus-causing image.
The claim appeared in a post on Instagram on September 14, 2023. It opened:
They are going to publish an image that shows how Covid 19 is cured in Mexico and it is called "Mexico did it", do not open it because it enters the phone in 5 seconds and it cannot be stopped in any way. IT IS A VIRUS. Pass it on to your friends and family. Now they also said it on CNN and BBC. DO NOT OPEN IT Please let your friends know. On the news today.
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of the writing of this fact check:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Sep 15 16:12:44 2023 UTC)
Lead Stories could find no evidence that this virus exists and can infect a phone in "5 seconds." The claim offers no proof as to who "they" are or where the image will be published.
As of September 15, 2023, neither CNN nor the BBC had published a report about the image or virus. A Google search for the keywords "cnn covid 19 cure mexico did it" yields zero credible results for a mention about this on the news network. A Google search for the keywords "bbc covid 19 cure mexico did it" also leads to no results.
Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about COVID-19 can be found here.