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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

October 16, 2020

AFP’s fact-check service debunks misinformation spread online. Here are some of our recent fact-checks:

1. False suicide rate

Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim the Australian state of Victoria recorded the same number of suicides in September 2020 during a coronavirus lockdown as it did for the whole of 2019. The claim is false. The Victorian Suicide Register shows there were 49 deaths from suicide in September 2020, compared to 534 for 2019 until September 30 that year.

2. Trump campaign ad

A campaign ad for US President Donald Trump features footage of Dr Anthony Fauci appearing to praise Trump’s coronavirus response. But Fauci — a leading US infectious diseases expert and member of the Coronavirus Task Force — said he has never endorsed a political candidate, and that the remarks were taken out of context.

3. Indonesia unrest

A video has been viewed millions of times in multiple posts on Facebook and YouTube alongside a claim it shows a protest outside Indonesia’s legislature over a controversial law in October 2020. The claim is false. The video actually shows a protest in front of Indonesia’s parliament building in September 2019.

4. Nigeria election

Footage of uniformed men firing gunshots to disperse a mob has been shared thousands of times in social media posts that claim the video shows violence during Nigeria’s recent election in Ondo state. The claim, however, is false. The video was filmed in a different part of the country in 2018 and is unrelated to the state poll. The TV banner seen in the video was also doctored to include misleading text.

5. Thai royalty

An image that appears to show a flock of birds soaring over the funeral procession of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016 has been shared in multiple Facebook and Twitter posts. This image, however, has been doctored. A separate image of a flock of birds has been inserted into a photo of the late king’s funeral procession.


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