Wasi Anjum Mirza

Pakistani journalist traversing Hong Kong. Graduate in Journalism from The University of Hong Kong. Love/hate relationship with politics, identity and objective truths. Working as a Fact-Check Reporter for Agence France-Presse (AFP)

News Verification & Fact-Check Articles

Fact checking misinformation/disinformation and potentially misleading claims online    Read More>>

This is a flag of a Pakistani feminist organisation — it is purple, not the blue found on the French tricolour flag

Images and videos of activists waving a flag at a Women’s Day March in Pakistan in 2021 have been shared in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube posts that claim that they were waving the French tricolour national flag. The claim is false: the flag seen in the posts represents a Pakistani feminist organization and is red, white and purple — not the French blue, white and red tricolour.

AFP photo of detained Thai protesters in 2004 recirculates in misleading posts about 'Myanmar Muslims'

AFP photo of detained Thai protesters in 2004 recirculates in misleading posts about 'Myanmar Muslims' A photo of a group of people surrounded by men wearing military fatigues has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook since January 2020 in posts that call for readers to pray for the safety of Muslims in Myanmar. The photo has continued to circulate online alongside a similar claim following a military coup in Myanmar in February 2021. The photo, however, has been shared in a misleading context: it actually shows protesters arrested by police in southern Thailand in 2004.

Image of fabricated CNN tweet circulates online following Pakistani missile test

An image has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter that purports to show a tweet from US media organisation CNN stating the "actual range" of Pakistani Shaheen-III missiles is 5,770 km. The posts circulated within two days of the Pakistani military announcing it had conducted a "successful flight test of Shaheen-III surface to surface ballistic missile". The claim in the posts is false: CNN told AFP that the purported tweet had been fabricated. There was no record of the purported tweet on Twitter or Google, nor did its formatting correspond with genuine tweets from CNN.

Satirical claim about a mandatory two marriage law resurfaces in Pakistan

A claim that on January 1, 2021, a new law took effect in Pakistan requiring men to have two marriages has been viewed more than 5 million times on TikTok. The claim is likely satirical; similar claims have circulated in satirical posts in previous years and no such law was enacted in January 2021. It may be tied to an old hoax of a similar law that spread in Iraq and a number of African countries.

Pakistani social media accounts share misleading claim about Indian call centre fraud scheme exposed in 2020

Footage of a US law enforcement official speaking at a podium has been viewed thousands of times in multiple Twitter and Facebook posts that claim it shows her announcing details of an Indian call centre fraud scheme that was exposed in December 2020. The claim, however, is misleading; the video in fact shows a US Department of Justice official talking about a different Indian call centre scam in 2016.