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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

September 6, 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. CGI Dorian

An Instagram post shared a video of large swirling clouds over a city and claimed it showed Hurricane Dorian off the coast of the Bahamas. But the clip was actually computer generated video made by animating an image taken by a US-based photographer. The footage had circulated online for months before the hurricane actually hit the Bahamas.

2. Indian space pix

After the launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2 in July this year, images purportedly taken by the landmark lunar mission appeared on social media. But all of the images were actually digital illustrations which had circulated online long before the mission’s launch.

3. Hong Kong police rape?

An image of a woman has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Weibo which claim she said Hong Kong police officers “want to rape her”. The claim is false — the image has been taken from a local media outlet’s video interview with a woman who told journalists that police officers pepper sprayed her boyfriend.

4. Beckham’s Papua T-shirt

A photograph of David Beckham wearing a “Free West Papua” T-shirt has circulated online in social media posts that claim it shows the English footballer’s support for Papua’s independence from Indonesia. The claim is false — the image was doctored from a UNICEF photo of Beckham wearing a plain white T-shirt on a trip to Papua New Guinea.

5. South Africa violence

A video of people jumping out of a burning building is being widely shared in social media posts that claim it shows this week’s deadly anti-foreigner violence in South Africa. But the video is not from South Africa at all — the fire in the footage, which killed 20 teenagers, happened in India several months ago.

1. u.afp.com/NotDorian

2. u.afp.com/NotLunarMission

3. u.afp.com/HKpepperspray

4. u.afp.com/BeckhamTshirt

5. u.afp.com/SAfire

bur/ceb/mtp

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