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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

November 8, 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. Canada ballots

Social media users have claimed that Canada’s October federal election was spoiled by fraud, because 35 million votes were counted when the country has only 27.5 million eligible voters. This is false — Canada’s electoral agency told AFP that 18.5 million ballots were cast during the 2019 vote, while 35 million ballots were printed to avoid shortages.

2. California fatal shooting

A video of a man who was shot dead by a California police officer in September 2017 has been miscaptioned, claiming it shows police shooting dead the wife of a Chinese official in the United States.

3. India’s Golden Temple?

A photo circulating on social media purports to show the Golden Temple in the Indian city of Amritsar decorated with flying lanterns ahead of Diwali festival. The image has actually been created by merging two photographs — one of sky lanterns from a festival in Thailand, and one of the Golden Temple.

4. NASA and climate change

An article shared half a million times claims that the US space agency NASA admitted that changes to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun are responsible for climate change, rather than human activity. But NASA has explicitly stated that “scientists attribute the global warming trend observed since the mid-20th century to the human expansion of the ‘greenhouse effect.'”

5. No-sugar diet cures cancer?

A Thai-language Facebook post claims that eating a sugar-free diet will cause cancer cells to “die naturally”. The misleading post, which also claims that hot lemon water and coconut oil cure cancer, has been shared more than 39,000 times. Numerous doctors, cancer charities, and scientific studies all say that eating a sugar-free diet, drinking hot lemon water, and taking spoonfuls of coconut oil are not cures for cancer.

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

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

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

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

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

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