The text above the photo reads: “This photo taken in kansas in America in September 2019 something doesn’t add up. LET’S OPEN OUR EYES!”
One Facebook user commented: “#TRUTH SHALL COME OUT ONE DAY.” Another wrote: “THE WORLD NEEDS AN EXPLANATION.”
But does the photo have anything to do with the Covid-19 pandemic?
‘This picture is fake’
A reverse image search leads to photos of similar rail tanker cars owned by the US train company GATX. Looking closer, it’s clear that the photo shows a GATX tanker, with its distinctive vertical yellow lines:
Our fact-checker colleagues at AFP contacted GATX about the “Covid-19” tanker photo.
“GATX is aware of a manipulated image being circulated on the internet, and please note that this picture is a fake,” the company told AFP.
COVID stencilled on train ‘would not meet standard’
Associated Press asked Railinc, an organisation that keeps data on the North American railroad industry, if they had a record of a train with “COVID-19” stencilled on the side.
“We have no mark registered in our system that matches to COVID,” Railinc told AP by email.
“Further, the rules governing registered marks only allow for 2-4 alphanumeric characters. COVID would not meet that standard.” – Taryn Willows
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.