News Verification

A collection of debunks and investigations into claims circulating online.

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Photo of US traffic edited to add illustration of Vladimir Putin with Imran Khan

Photo of US traffic edited to add illustration of Vladimir Putin with Imran Khan An image appearing to show an illustration of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Pakistan's ousted leader Imran Khan on the back of a truck has been shared thousands of times in social media posts that claim it was taken in Russia. However, the photo has been altered to add the illustration to the truck, and it was originally taken in the United States. The image was posted here on Twitter on May 7, 2022. It a

London bus ad with Pakistan founder is from publicity campaign before Imran Khan became PM

London bus ad with Pakistan founder is from publicity campaign before Imran Khan became PM Social media posts shared thousands of times criticise Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for having a picture of himself printed on the side of a London bus. They contrast this with an illustration of Pakistan's founder that purportedly featured on a bus during the tenure of his predecessor Imran Khan. However, while Sharif's image genuinely appeared on London buses after he came to power in April

Old arrest video misleadingly linked to Pakistan leader's Saudi visit

A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in posts that claim it shows activists from Pakistan’s main opposition party being arrested by Saudi police. The clip circulated online after Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was heckled during a visit to the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. However, the video has been shared in a misleading context; it predates Sharif's visit by more than one year. It actually shows Pakistan nationals arrested on suspicion of running digital scams in the S

Imposter account for Pakistan diplomat shares fabricated tweet about Imran Khan's dismissal

After Pakistan's ousted prime minister Imran Khan accused the United States of conspiring to boot him from power, social media posts shared thousands of times appeared to show a tweet from Pakistan's former US ambassador declaring that Washington had "interfered" in Islamabad's internal affairs. However, the tweet was posted by an imposter account that has been suspended. "I strongly stand by my words. The United States has interfered in our internal affairs," reads the tweet purportedly sent b

Long-defunct New York Herald did not publish critical cartoon about Pakistan judiciary

Long-defunct New York Herald did not publish critical cartoon about Pakistan judiciary Weeks after Pakistan's top court issued a ruling that led to the removal of former prime minister Imran Khan, posts circulated on social media claiming the New York Herald newspaper published a cartoon depicting Pakistan's judiciary as subservient to Washington. However, the New York Herald newspaper ceased publication in 1924 and the image, which was shared hundreds of times, was digitally altered from a pol

Video of Pakistan PM's visit to market doctored to add 'he's a thief' chants

Video of Pakistan PM's visit to market doctored to add 'he's a thief' chants A video has been viewed over 150,000 times in social media posts that claim it shows people chanting "he's a thief" at Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a recent market visit. The posts circulated after Sharif was sworn in following a no-confidence vote which ousted Imran Khan from office in April 2022. However, the claim is false; the video has been edited to include the chants. The video was posted her

Photo shows Indian activist after ink attack in 2015, not the Sri Lankan chief justice

Photo shows Indian activist after ink attack in 2015, not the Sri Lankan chief justice A photo of a man's blackened face has been shared in Pakistani social media posts that claim it shows the Sri Lankan chief justice after being assaulted for "giving an illegal ruling". However, the photo has been used in a false context -- it in fact shows an Indian author who was attacked by members of a far-right group in 2015. The photo was posted here on Facebook on April 19, 2022, and has been shared ov

New Pakistan PM hit by false claim about singer 'serenading him in office'

New Pakistan PM hit by false claim about singer 'serenading him in office' A video has been viewed more than one million times in social media posts that claim it shows a singer serenading Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his office. The video was shared by opposition politicians who accused the new leader of ignoring the public's troubles. However, the clip shows a performance at Sharif's private residence in November 2021, months before he became prime minister. "The Prime Ministe

Photo of 2017 Turkey protest doctored to add image of ousted Pakistan PM

Photo of 2017 Turkey protest doctored to add image of ousted Pakistan PM As Pakistan's now-ousted leader Imran Khan faced what he claimed to be a US-backed campaign to remove him from power, social media posts shared thousands of times purported to show a photo of a pro-Khan, anti-US protest in Turkey. In fact, the photo was taken in 2017, when thousands marched against the detention of a Turkish opposition politician. A picture of Khan's face was doctored onto a sign that actually read "Freedo

Doctored photo originally shows protesters in Moscow demanding release of Kremlin critic

An image has been shared thousands of times in social media posts alongside a claim it shows an anti-US protest staged in Russia in support of embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The posts circulated online after Khan accused Washington of trying to remove him from power, which it denies . But the image has been doctored. The original photo -- captured by the Associated Press news agency -- shows a 2021 protest in the Russian capital Moscow against the detention of Kremlin critic Alexe

Burj Khalifa did not display Pakistan PM message ahead of confidence vote

Burj Khalifa did not display Pakistan PM message ahead of confidence vote Politicians from Pakistan's ruling party have shared a video, viewed thousands of times online, that appears to show the Burj Khalifa illuminated with a message from Prime Minister Imran Khan as he faced a no-confidence vote. However, a representative for the iconic landmark said the video wasn't real and a Twitter user said they made the clip using visual effects. The video, viewed more than 9,000 times, appears to show

Old photo misleadingly linked to Pakistan PM's no-confidence vote

After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was left scrambling to fight a no-confidence vote, a photo was shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter alongside a claim it shows Khan meeting with the head of an Islamist party to shore up support. But the photo has been shared in a misleading context: it shows Khan's meeting with the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan party in 2016. The photo was posted on Facebook on March 22, 2022. It has been shared more than 110 times. It shows Khan w

Posts misrepresent Pakistan PM's remarks about India's foreign policy

As Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan faces a no-confidence vote that could force him from power, social media posts and news reports have circulated online claiming to share a direct quote from a speech he delivered on March 20. These posts claim Khan praised the army of arch-rival India and said, "India's army is not corrupt and they never interfere in civilian government". But a review of his speech found that while Khan praised India's foreign policy, he did not issue the remarks indicated i

Photo shows funeral of gun attack victims in 2014, not people executed in Saudi Arabia in 2022

Photo shows funeral of gun attack victims in 2014, not people executed in Saudi Arabia in 2022 Social media posts shared hundreds of times claim to show a photo the funeral of some of the 81 people executed on a single day in Saudi Arabia on terrorism-related charges on March 12, 2022. In fact, the picture was taken at funeral processions for the victims of an attack by gunmen in Saudi Arabia in 2014. "Scenes of the funeral prayers in Qatif for the 41 Shia youths who were martyred by the House

Doctored images circulate after International Women's Day marches in Pakistan

Images that appear to show women holding controversial placards at rallies to mark International Women's Day in deeply conservative Muslim Pakistan have been shared repeatedly on social media. Comments the posts indicated some social media users believed they were genuine. In fact, the images have been digitally doctored to insert controversial message . One image was shared here on Twitter on March 9, 2022 alongside a caption that reads: "Meanwhile #AuratMarch in Pakistan". The placard appear

Injured Syrian child pictured in misleading posts after Pakistan suicide attack

Following a suicide attack on a mosque in northwestern Pakistan in March 2022, an image of an injured child was shared hundreds of times in social media posts that claimed it shows a victim of the bombing. However, the photo has been shared in a misleading context; it is actually an AFP photo of a child injured in Syria after an air strike in January 2020. The image shows a child whose face is bruised and bandaged. It was tweeted on March 4, 2022 by an account with more than 17,000 followers.

Video from Indian-administered Kashmir does not show man 'grieving after Pakistan suicide attack'

Video from Indian-administered Kashmir does not show man 'grieving after Pakistan suicide attack' After a deadly suicide attack struck the Pakistani city of Peshawar on March 4, a video circulated in social media posts that said it showed a man grieving for his son killed in the blast. However, the video, viewed thousands of times, has previously circulated in reports from January 2021 about demonstrations against killings by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir. "This man lost his s

Video with inaccurate subtitles does not show 'Putin praising Pakistan PM Imran Khan'

Video with inaccurate subtitles does not show 'Putin praising Pakistan PM Imran Khan' A video has circulated in social media posts that claim it shows Russian President Vladimir Putin praising Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan after the two leaders met in Moscow on the day Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine. The clip was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in posts by Pakistan-based social media users. In fact, the video's English-language subtitles have been misleadingly altered. In the

Old video does not show Indian police 'arresting Muslim women' during hijab ban protests

Old video does not show Indian police 'arresting Muslim women' during hijab ban protests A video has been viewed thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows police arresting women protesting a hijab ban in schools in the southern Indian state of Karnataka in February 2022. The video has been shared in a false context; while police have detained some pro-hijab demonstrators, the footage has circulated since September 2021 in reports about students protesting changes to the state

Posts make misleading comparison of China's reception for Pakistan leaders

As Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China in February 2022, social media posts shared two photos that they claim show Chinese President Xi Jinping declined to personally welcome him at the airport in Beijing, despite apparently having done so for his predecessor Nawaz Sharif. The comparison is misleading; while the first photo does show Xi was absent for Khan's arrival, the second photo actually shows him with Sharif at an airbase in Pakistan in 2015, not "welcoming him in China". The
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