Sign up for PM Award Updates!

AFP Fact Check articles of the week

July 19, 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. Trump slap

Video showing Donald Trump slapping a man was shared thousands of times in Chinese language social media posts which claimed the US president had attacked a British MP. The video actually showed Trump slapping a professional wrestling executive in a planned PR stunt at a 2007 press conference before he became president.

2. NASA cloud machine

Indian social media posts shared footage of what they claimed was a rain cloud machine developed by US space agency NASA. The footage was actually taken from a 2010 episode of the BBC’s Top Gear program and showed tests of rocket engines.

3. Bombardier tax

Misleading facts about Canadian rail car manufacturer Bombardier were found circulating on social media in the form of memes claiming that the company’s latest move to lay off 550 workers in a Canadian city and open an assembly plant in the USA were related to tax policies of the two governments. However, Bombardier said the job cut in Canada was due to a lack of public contracts while the new California site will host operations that previously took place in New York State.

4. Halal pork?

Misleading posts in Indonesia and Australia shared purported photos of pork products with “halal” stamps — despite it being forbidden under Islamic law for Muslims to eat products made from pigs. The images had in fact been doctored to include the “halal” stamp.

5. UNESCO award

A claim that UNESCO has declared Islam the “world’s most peaceful religion” has circulated online since at least 2016. But UNESCO has denied issuing any such statement and the misleading story originated on a satirical website.




4. and



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