Coronavirus, English, Fake News
 

Unrelated photos are being falsely shared in the context of COVID-19 outbreak in Italy

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A couple of photos are being shared on Facebook in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy. The post claims that the first photo is of the people who died from Coronavirus in Italy and the second one is of Italy’s Prime Minister crying and expressing his helplessness that he couldn’t save Coronavirus patients in Italy. Let’s try to analyze the authenticity of the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim 1: Image of the people who died of Coronavirus in Italy.

Fact: The photo is not related to recent Coronavirus deaths in Italy. It was taken in Frankfurt (Germany) in 2014 as part of an ‘art project’ in remembrance of 528 Katzbach victims of the Nazi concentration camp. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.  

When the photo in the post was reverse image searched, the photo was found in an article published by a news organization, ‘South China Morning Post’. The article was published in 2014 and the photo credits were given to an organization called ‘Reuters’. Based on the description provided on Reuters’ website about the photo, it is understood that the photo was captured when some people had laid down on a pedestrian zone as part of an ‘art project’ in Frankfurt (Germany), in remembrance of 528 Katzbach victims of the Nazi concentration camp.

Claim 2: Photo of the prime minister of Italy crying and expressing his helplessness that he couldn’t save Coronavirus patients in Italy.

Fact: The person in the photo is not the PM of Italy. He is Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil. The photo was taken when he cried at an ‘Evangelical Thanksgiving Service’. The PM of Italy has not expressed helplessness that he couldn’t save Coronavirus affected patients in Italy. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE. 

When the posted photo was cropped and searched using reverse image technique, the same photo was found in an article published on 17 December 2019 by a news organization called ‘Poder 360’. From the article, it is understood that the person in the photo is the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. The photo was taken when he participated in an ‘Evangelical Thanksgiving Service’, where he cried remembering the knife attack, which he suffered during the 2018 election campaign in Juiz de Fora (MG). So, the person in the posted photo is the President of Brazil, not the prime minister of Italy.

When searched on the internet to see if the PM of Italy (Giuseppe Conte) has commented that he couldn’t save Coronavirus affected people in Italy, no such information published by any trusted news agency was found. Also, no information about it was found on the official Twitter account of Giuseppe Conte. Therefore, the PM of Italy has not expressed his helplessness that he couldn’t save Coronavirus affected patients in Italy. 

To summarize, unrelated photos are being falsely shared in the context of COVID-19 outbreak in Italy.

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