Dangerous rat with body of a snake? No, image is photoshopped

Has a new “dangerous rat” with the body of a snake “entered the earth”? No, but that’s the claim in a meme published on Facebook in Nigeria in November 2018 and shared over 57,000 times so far.

The image shows a furry snake body with what looks more like a mouse’s head.

Its text reads: “Another dangerous rat enters the earth. Even the RAT POISON doesn’t kill it. It was first discovered in Pakistan but it’s spreading all over the world. Many people have died already. We need to share this picture as many times as possible. Share this now for every Christian to pray.”

Image created for design competition

A reverse image search reveals the photo was originally posted on the website DesignCrowd  in 2013.

DesignCrowd, a freelance design service, had organised a competition for photoshopped images under the theme Predator & Prey. The mouse-snake image was one of the submissions.

It was created by a freelance Indonesian designer with the screen name budiyono.

The designer’s other Photoshop creations include a police officer with the head of a lion and a half-eaten pastry bun with dragonfly wings. – Motunrayo Joel (12/04/19)


For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

You’ve posted an image, a video, a statement or a link to an article on Facebook or Instagram. And a fact-checker has rated it “false”, “partly false” or “false headline”.

This could mean fewer people will see your page. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide below for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check has partnered with Facebook to combat fake news and false information on the social platform. This fact-check is part of the initiative.

As part of its third-party fact-checking programme, Facebook allows its partners to see public articles, pictures or videos that have been flagged as potentially inaccurate.

Content rated as “false” by fact-checkers will be downgraded in news feeds. This means fewer people will see it.

You can help us identify fake news and false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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