Fake News

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  1. Misleading images used to highlight Ethiopia hunger

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    Old and unrelated images are being shared online in an attempt to highlight food supply shortages in parts of Ethiopia's Amhara region.

    The images are being used to call for aid to people in the Wollo area of the Amhara region.

    It’s been affected by fighting between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front rebels, who crossed in to Amhara from the north, and regional and federal government forces.

    Some online users are portraying the area as more deserving of aid than areas in Tigray.

    However some of the images are from different times or places, and unrelated to the current situation.

    One image in a widely-shared tweet is from Mogadishu, Somalia and was taken a decade ago, while another is actually from Tigray.

    A screengrab of the tweet

    Another example we saw is also from more than a decade ago and from the Somali speaking region of Ethiopia, not from the Amhara region.

    A screengrab of the tweet

    The UN has said that the food supply situation in the Amhara region has been affected by fighting.

    According to UN report on 2 September, there’s an estimated 1.7 million people facing food insecurity in both the Amhara and Afar regions, but they also say 5.2 million are in need in Tigray.

  2. WHO head hasn’t denounced his Ethiopian citizenship

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
    Image caption: Claims circulating online about Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus are false

    Social media posts and videos falsely claiming that the World Health Organization (WHO) director general no longer considers himself Ethiopian have been widely shared online.

    One video uploaded on YouTube, and which has been viewed more than 100,000 times, claims Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that during an interview with the BBC.

    But the claim is totally fabricated.

    Dr Tedros, who is Ethiopian, hasn’t spoken to the BBC recently about the conflict in the northern region of Tigray.

    Those spreading the claim took advantage of the BBC having interviewed a doctor, Tewodros Tefera, who said he no longer considers himself Ethiopian.

    The doctor, who fled across the border into Sudan late last year, spoke to the BBC’s Andrew Harding from Hamdayet, a refugee reception centre which has been hosting thousands of refugees from the conflict in Tigray.

    "Thinking of being an Ethiopian now is gone...So, the idea of [holding] the same passport is gone," Tewodros said.

    Tewodros is sometimes written as Tedros.

    The Ethiopian government has been highly critical of the WHO head.

    On Saturday the state-owned Ethiopia News Agency published a story accusing him of being an "advocate of the terrorist group…the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)" which has been fighting for control of the region.

  3. No, lions haven't been let loose in South Africa

    Peter Mwai

    BBC Reality Check

    Some social media users have been sharing misleading videos and pictures depicting the violence in South Africa in recent days, clearly not connected to the current unrest.

    One such video which has been widely shared falsely claims protesters had pulled down a fence at the Hluhluwe Game Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province letting the animals out.

    It warns people to "watch out for lions".

    View more on twitter

    Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the government agency that manages the game reserve, says the video was taken in mid-May during an unrelated protest.

    "So far we have not experienced any damage to our property," they say.

    View more on twitter

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to "refrain from posting and circulating inflammatory messages on social media, and from spreading rumours or false reports that may create further panic".

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Covid: Where is the anti-lockdown movement headed?

    During the pandemic, a movement opposing Covid restrictions has grown increasingly vocal. But what becomes of the anti-lockdown movement once restrictions are lifted?