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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

November 13, 2020

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

1. US ballots conspiracy

Following the US election, social media posts claim President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretly watermarked ballots to catch Democrats using fakes to win, and that the National Guard is counting the real ones. This is false. State and local authorities create and distribute ballots, not the DHS. The DHS and the National Guard also said there is no truth to the claims.

2. Myanmar election

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts alongside a claim that Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi lost her seat in the country’s election on November 8, 2020. The claim, however, was made when no official winner had been declared in Myanmar’s general election. Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy party later declared victory.

3. Pakistan school bombing

Two photos — one showing a pen and a pencil lying in a pool of blood and another showing an injured child — have been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim they reveal the aftermath of a bombing at an Islamic seminary in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in October 2020. The photos, however, have circulated in unrelated reports since August 2018 and January 2020, respectively.

4. Nigeria funeral

A video showing a body wrapped in a Nigerian flag and carried by military officers through a crowd has been shared thousands of times online alongside claims that the footage shows the funeral of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. This is false. The video in fact shows the burial of former Nigerian leader Umar Musa Yar’Adua, who died in May 2010.

5. Pakistan chants ‘Modi’?

A television news segment in India reporting that slogans favouring Prime Minister Narendra Modi were chanted by lawmakers in Pakistan has been shared extensively on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The claim was widely amplified by prominent Indian politicians and other media outlets. However, the claim is false; the lawmakers were in fact chanting calls for a vote during a debate in Pakistan’s national assembly.


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