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Fake news debunked

HONG KONG, Nov 27, 2020 (AFP) – AFP’s fact-check service debunks misinformation spread online. Here are some of our recent fact-checks:

1. Thailand protests

Two photos of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim they show her raising a three-fingered salute in support of Thai pro-democracy protesters. The claim is false. The photos actually show Suu Kyi meeting with Myanmar’s national scouts in 2019, nearly a year before major pro-democracy protests began in Thailand.

2. Gesture hoax

Images showing religious leaders and US politicians, including President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, have circulated in numerous social media posts claiming they all are flashing “devil horns”, which some consider to be Satanic hand signals. The claim, however, is false. One of the photos has been digitally altered, another shows a gesture honoring a university mascot and multiple others show sign language gestures.

3. Tigray conflict

A photograph has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook alongside the claim that it shows victims of a massacre perpetrated against Amharas — one of Ethiopia’s major ethnolinguistic groups — in the restive Tigray region. The claim, however, is false. The image in fact shows victims of a tsunami that hit Thailand and other Asian countries in 2004.

4. Covid-19 aid

An image of a purported news report by a Pakistani broadcaster has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter in November 2020 alongside a claim that Afghanistan announced a $30 million aid package for Pakistan to support the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. The claim is false. The Pakistani broadcaster whose logo was shown in the posts told AFP it had not aired the purported segment and the Pakistani government said the claim is “fake news”.

5. Doctored Philippine forecast

A photo has been shared repeatedly on Facebook alongside a claim that a series of tropical cyclones is set to hit the Philippines immediately after Typhoon Vamco made landfall in November 2020. The photo, however, has been digitally altered to indicate additional weather pressure areas.

Agence France-Presse