Matter of Fact: A look at fake visuals of xenophobic attacks in KZN

Targeted xenophobic attacks in Kwazulu-Natal have brought about a storm of graphic videos and photos, but many, although purported to be so, are unrelated to the recent attacks.

READ: 'Xenophobic attacks not just local response, but organised at national level'

Africa Check's Cayley Clifford details some of the unrelated images and reports circulated on social media. In one particular video a man is severely beaten with a shovel in an apparent mob attack.

Clifford says her team took a screen shot of the thumbnail of the video and searched for it on Google reverse image search.

Reverse image search is probably the most important tool in a fact checkers tool kit.

Cayley Clifford, Researcher - Africa Check

Clifford says the video has been online since February 2019.

The results took us back to Twitter where we saw two users sharing the video in early February 2019. Both users linked the video to mob justice in Mahikeng. When we searched for this we could not find any media reports on the incident but the fact that it was circulating online more than a month before the latest flare up of attacks means it can't possibly be of a xenophobic attacks in the last few days.

Cayley Clifford, Researcher - Africa Check

Another unrelated tweet is that of a shoot out in Johannesburg.

This was shared to Twitter on the 31st of March and when we put into reverse image search we did not get any results but sometimes you get lucky in the comments section there is often someone who knows that this video is old. In this case there was a twitter user who was quick to point out that the video was old and being used out of context. We picked up a news article reporting the incident - an armed robbery on the 14th of March.

Cayley Clifford, Researcher - Africa Check

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