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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

October 4, 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. Modi protest hoax

A doctored image was shared thousands of times with a false claim it showed a protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Saudi Arabia. But the photo originally showed a 2016 protest outside the Russian embassy in Kuwait against Moscow’s support of the Syrian regime.

2. Sri Lanka ‘attack’

A photo was shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook which claimed a British national was bitten by Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka. But the photo actually originated from a 2011 media report about an American teenager injured in an accident in the US state of Oregon.

3. Colombia dossier

Colombia’s head of military intelligence resigned after the country’s president handed a dossier to the United Nations that supposedly provided proof that Venezuela was sheltering Colombian rebels. AFP Fact-Check found two photos included in the file were wrongly captioned.

4. Nigerian ‘coffin’

Major news outlets around the world shared a photo of a car being lowered into the ground, alongside a claim it shows a wealthy Nigerian being buried in a BMW worth $88,000. But AFP found the photo shows actors on the set of the Nigerian film “Social Club”.

5. World’s most dangerous cities

Social media posts claiming to show a list of the world’s most dangerous cities have been widely shared online. But AFP Fact Check found the list comes from a website which acknowledges that its “crime indices” are solely based on online surveys about how safe people feel — not objective data.

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

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

3. http://u.afp.com/colombia-images

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

5. http://u.afp.com/most-dangerous

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