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No, CNN didn’t use the same girl in three different refugee crisis photos

A meme shared on Facebook in South Africa claims TV channel CNN used “the same girl in three different refugee crisis pictures being saved by three different men”.

A user comments: “Fake news that people believe.”

It shows three photos of a little girl, covered in dust and wearing the same clothes in each, being carried by three different men in what appear to be crisis situations.

The implication is that the US-based news network CNN used the images to falsely report on three separate crises.

Bombing in Aleppo, Syria

According to US fact-checker Snopes, the meme has been circulating online since December 2016. Reverse image searches revealed that the photos were taken during a single crisis, the aftermath of a bombing in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2016.

It’s clear that the photos do show the same girl. But they are not from three separate events.

Snopes said it was more likely that the girl was passed from a rescuer to a caretaker or family member in the same disaster zone, resulting in the three different photos. And there is no evidence that CNN ever used the photos to represent anything other than this one event.  

Photos all taken within 80 seconds

In April 2018, AFP confirmed this with their own fact-check. The photos were taken after the bombing by freelance photographer Ameer al-Halbi.

In addition to the three used in the meme, al-Halbi took 13 other photos. The images’ metadata shows they were all taken on the same day, within 80 seconds.







In one photo you can even see the girl being passed from a volunteer rescue worker to the man in the checked shirt. - Africa Check (26/03/19)


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