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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

August 2, 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. ‘Foreign commander’ at HK protests

Multiple Facebook posts and local media reports shared an image of a man they said was a “foreign commander” giving pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong information about police movements. However, the New York Times newspaper told AFP that that the image actually showed Kevin Roche, an NYT employee, who was covering the protests on July 28 and was communicating with other journalists.

2. Trudeau pension funds

A 2016 YouTube video resurfaced in Facebook posts which falsely claimed that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “took” funds from the Canadian Pension Plan and directed them to India. Canada has a board, independent of the government, which manages retirement savings. India is among 52 countries where Canadian pension funds are invested.

3. US Missionary FGM

False reports circulating online in Kenya this month claimed that an American missionary had undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which has been illegal in the country since 2011. The missionary, Teresa Estes, told AFP that the reports damaged her credibility in her work to save girls from FGM and she was considering legal action against the TV station that first made the claim.

4. KFC maggots

Old photos of maggots crawling on cooked chicken were shared widely in multiple Facebook posts which claimed the infested food was from KFC outlets in Pakistan. The photos were actually taken at a KFC in India in 2018. “I ordered chicken at KFC Powai, Mumbai and was surprised that the worms were everywhere in my chicken,” the man who took the photos, Facebook user Datta Salve, told AFP.

5. Not a panda

Facebook posts that have been shared thousands of times contain a photo of an animal they claim is a panda. The claim is false — the black and white animal in the images is actually a Malayan tapir, an endangered species native to Southeast Asia.

1. u.afp.com/HKNYT

2. u.afp.com/CPPIB

3. u.afp.com/KENFGM

4. u.afp.com/PakKFC

5. u.afp.com/Malaytapir

bur/ceb/ecl

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