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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

June 21, 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. Protests in Hong Kong

An “incredibly beautiful” image of a mass protest in Hong Kong has been shared tens of thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows an anti-extradition march in the city on June 16. But all is not as it seems — the night-time picture is actually a cropped, mirrored version of an original photograph of a similar protest a week earlier.

2. Tear gas ‘tennis’

Among other false posts about the Hong Kong protests is a miscaptioned photo of a protester batting away a tear gas canister with a tennis racquet. The picture actually shows a 2016 demonstration in France. During the unrest, AFP has also debunked a doctored newspaper front page and a misleading video purportedly showing tanks lined up in the nearby Chinese city of Shenzhen.

3. Cricket celebrations

With the 2019 Cricket World Cup underway in England and Wales, a video of a crowd dancing to a Hindi song has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in Facebook and Twitter posts that claim it was filmed in London during the tournament. However the clip actually shows an annual festival in Berlin.

4. US visa ban for Nigerians?

Posts shared across social media and on multiple blogs in Nigeria claim that the Trump administration has placed a ban on visas for Nigerians seeking to study in the United States. This is false; the US embassy in Abuja has called on Nigerians to disregard the claim, which it described as “fake news”.

5. Ancient underwater Bible?

Social media posts shared thousands of times purport to show an ancient Bible — or in some cases, a Koran — that is still readable after it was found at the bottom of the ocean. The book is in fact a work by the US artist Catherine McEver. She explained on her blog in 2014 how she used a cleaning product to grow crystals on a dictionary.

1. http://u.afp.com/HKprotestpic

2. http://u.afp.com/HKtennis

3. http://u.afp.com/INdancing

4. http://u.afp.com/USNigeriaVisa

5. http://u.afp.com/CrystalBible

kaf/rox

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