But the pictures aren’t what they seem.
When they first appeared online, on 26 July 2018, the images spread like wildfire. One Twitter user claimed the pig-human baby was born in Kenya’s Murang’a county. Another said it came from Sidipet in India.
The maybe-piglet popped up on Facebook two days later, on July 28, 2018. This time the poster claimed “breaking news” – that “a pig in Kakamega has delivered a baby boy”. They added: “Total shame to our men.”
The post has about a thousand likes and has been shared some 16,000 times, so far.
Facebook’s fact-checking system recently flagged it as false. It is.
Photos by Italian sculptor
The original photos come from the Instagram account of Laira Maganuco, an Italian sculptor who deals in “high quality silicon sculptures for art collectors”.
Maganuco posted the images on her Instagram account on 26 July 2018 with a now broken link, advertising the pieces for sale on Etsy, an online marketplace for vintage and handmade items. (Note: Maganuco posted the images on her Facebook page on 29 July 2018.)
So, yes, the pig-baby photos only show sculpted objects made of silicon. (And humans and animals simply can’t make babies, as another Facebook fact-check explains.
What we have here are real photos with a false caption, misinforming the public. The images have already been debunked by Factcheck KR and Hoaxslayer. – Alphonce Shiundu (28/01/2019)
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.