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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

November 20, 2020

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

1. US ‘dead voters’

As Donald Trump fights the results of the presidential election in the courts, his campaign released the names of four dead Georgians who they claimed had voted, suggesting fraud. But this claim is false in three of the cases because the people named did not vote this year, an AFP investigation found. The fourth person named did cast a ballot and the case was turned over to police and state authorities.

2. Australian fire service funding

Multiple posts shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter claim the Australian government cut Aus$200 million from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) in the state’s 2020-21 budget. In fact, NSW RFS told AFP that budget documents show government funding for the fire service has actually increased for 2020-21.

3. ‘World Doctors Alliance’ video

A video shared thousands of times on Facebook shows a panel of medical practitioners presenting various false claims about Covid-19. One member of the panel denies that the pandemic exists and calls the virus a “normal flu”. Both of these claims are false, scientific experts say, as waves of new infections surge around the world.

4. New Zealand food production

Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim New Zealand’s government has passed legislation that revoked residents’ “human right to grow food”. The claim is false; the New Zealand Department of Primary Industries told AFP that “there is no legislation supporting these claims”. Similar claims have circulated online since at least 2014 after New Zealand’s parliament passed a bill the same year which regulated food production.

5. Macron egg pelt video

A video was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter alongside a claim it shows French President Emmanuel Macron being hit on the forehead by an egg after he “insulted the Prophet Mohammed”. In reality, the video shows someone pelting an egg at Macron in 2017 when he was running for president.

http://u.afp.com/DeadVoters

http://u.afp.com/NSWFireBudget

http://u.afp.com/DoctorsAlliance

http://u.afp.com/NZFoodLegislation

http://u.afp.com/MacronEgg

afp

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