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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

February 19, 2021

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

1. Myanmar ‘tank woman’?

An image purportedly showing a woman holding a sword and confronting an armoured vehicle in Myanmar was shared on Facebook and Twitter as the junta intensified a crackdown on anti-coup protesters. However, the image has been doctored from a photo of military vehicles patrolling Yangon in which the woman does not appear.

2. Covid-19 Antibodies

Multiple Facebook posts circulated online in February 2021 claim that only people from South Korea have Covid-19 antibodies, citing a South Korean scientific study as evidence. The claim is misleading: according to one of the co-authors of the scientific study published in January 2021, researchers analysed coronavirus antibodies found in Covid-19 patients from the United States and South Korea.

3. Myanmar vs Philadelphia

A photo has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts alongside a claim it shows protesters demonstrating on a street in Myanmar after a military coup on February 1, 2021. The claim is false: this photo was actually taken during a Black Lives Matter protest in Philadelphia in 2020.

4. ‘Closest image of the Sun’

An image has been shared thousands of times on social media with claims that it shows “the closest image of the Sun”, captured by US space agency NASA’s Parker Solar Probe. The photo, however, was actually taken from Earth by an independent astrophotographer and it is not the closest-ever shot of the Sun.

5. US unemployment

A Facebook post shared tens of thousands of times claims unemployment for minorities hit an all-time low under the presidency of Donald Trump, and that Joe Biden “killed” 135,000 jobs. This is inaccurate. Black men over the age of 20 did not enjoy record employment under Trump, and in the first month of Biden’s presidency, jobs were added, not lost.


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