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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

June 14, 2019

AFP’s fact-check service debunks misinformation spread online. Here is a selection from around the world published on our blog this week:

1. Clashes in Hong Kong

Police in Hong Kong are facing accusations of brutality after clashes this week at protests against a controversial proposed extradition law. Video footage has been shared alongside claims that it shows an officer shooting a protester. The claim is false — the video actually shows one policeman pointing a baton at a woman before another officer detonates a tear gas canister nearby.

2. Basel, not Birmingham

A video of people attacking cars on a dark street has been shared thousands of times on Facebook in multiple countries including Canada and Sri Lanka. Text across the top of the footage claims the video shows Muslims in the English city of Birmingham who want to hold their Ramadan fast-breaking meal, iftar, in the street. However the clip actually shows football hooligans in Basel, Switzerland.

3. Lost girl at Indian station

Misleading Facebook posts shared hundreds of thousands of times in India are exploiting people’s goodwill to go viral. They contain a photo of a distressed young girl in a train station, who they claim has been separated from her parents. The posts urge users to share the picture to help find them — but the photo was taken in 2016 in central India, not northern India as claimed, and the girl was long ago reunited with her family.

4. Canada egg recall?

An article claims that 400 million Walmart-brand eggs have been recalled in Canada due to possible salmonella contamination. While the US Food and Drug Administration did issue a recall for 200 million eggs in April 2018, it did not include eggs sold in Canada. A Canadian Food Inspection Agency spokesperson told AFP that the report was false.

5. ‘New car invention’

A video of a car moving without a driver and performing various feats with robotic parts has been viewed millions of times in Facebook posts that claim it shows a real self-driving car. Comments by some users suggest they believe the car is real, but the car company whose logo features on the vehicle told AFP that it shows a computer-animated car which is not in production.






Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.