Giant snake on road in Tanzania? Crudely photoshopped image already debunked in China

Bonyeza hapa ili kusoma ripoti hii kwa Kiswahili. Click here to read this report in Kiswahili.

An image that seems to show a giant snake slithering down a road between crowds of people was shared on a Tanzanian Facebook page on 8 August 2019.

It’s captioned, in Kiswahili: “Umati mkubwa wa watu wakishangaa maajabu ya Joka kubwa likipita na kukatisha mitaa, Njia mpaka linaelekea polini bila kuleta madhala kwa wakazi wa maeneo jirani na alipopita nyoka huyo.” 

This loosely translates as: “A huge crowd is perplexed by the sight of this enormous snake passing by the neighbourhood headed for the forest. It did not harm residents.”

The post has been shared more than 1,300 times – and the image flagged as possibly fake by Facebook’s fact-checking system.

Dragon caused earthquake in China?

The image has clearly been manipulated.

A reverse image search reveals it was posted on Weibo, a China-based social media platform, two months earlier – in June 2019. Here it was used to claim that a “120-metre giant dragon with a diameter of 1.5 metres jumped out of the water” and was said to be “related to” an earthquake that hit China’s Sichuan province on 17 June.

Zhang Moumou, 50, posted the image and claim on Weibo. China’s South China Morning Post and Shanghaiist news sites reported that local police launched an investigation into the source of the image and arrested Zhang for causing “social panic”.

The police later posted that after interrogation, Zhang claimed the photo was only meant to be a joke and apologised to netizens for his “improper online behavior”.

Photos of Zhang and his post can be seen on the police’s Weibo page. – Dancan Bwire


Nyoka kubwa kwenye barabara nchini Tanzania? Picha iliyobadilishwa kidijitali bila ujuzi tayari imefunuliwa kuwa uongo nchini Uchina

Picha ambayo inaonekana kuonyesha nyoka mkubwa akiteleza barabarani kati ya umati wa watu ilichapishwa kwenye ukurasa wa Facebook wa Kitanzania mnamo tarehe 8 Agosti 2019.

Maelezo yanasema: “Umati mkubwa wa watu wakishangaa maajabu ya Joka kubwa likipita na kukatisha mitaa, Njia mpaka linaelekea polini bila kuleta madhala kwa wakazi wa maeneo jirani na alipopita nyoka huyo.”

Chapisho hilo lilisambazwa zaidi ya mara 1,300 – na picha iliyoripotiwa kama inayoshukiwa kuwa uwongo kwa mfumo wa kuangalia ukweli wa maneno kwenye Facebook.

Joka lilisababisha tetemeko la ardhi nchini Uchina?

Ni wazi kabisa kuwa picha hiyo ni ghushi.

Utafiti katika mtandao unaonyesha kuwa ilichapishwa kwenye Weibo, jukwaa la media la kijamii huko Uchina, mnamo Juni 2019, miezi miwili kabla ya kuchapishwa kwenye mtandao wa Facebook.

Hapa, picha hiyo ilitumiwa kudai kwamba “joka kubwa la mita 120 lenye kipenyo cha mita 1.5 aliruka kutoka majini”. Joka hilo lilihusishwa na tetemeko la ardhi ambalo liligonga mkoa wa Sichuan nchi China mnamo 17 Juni.

Zhang Moumou, mwenye umri wa miaka 50, aliichapisha picha hiyo na madai haya kwenye Weibo. Vituo vya habari vya Uchina kama South China Morning Post na za Shanghaiist ziliripoti kwamba polisi wa eneo hilo walizindua uchunguzi juu ya chanzo cha picha hiyo na kumkamata Zhang kwa kusababisha “hofu ya kijamii”.

Baadaye, polisi walitoa taarifa kwa mtandao wa Weibo kwamba baada ya kuhojiwa, Zhang alidai picha hiyo ilikuwa tu ya utani na aliomba radhi kwa watumizi wa mtandao kwa “tabia mbaya mtandaoni”.

Picha za Zhang na chapisho lake zinaweza kuonekana kwenye ukur asa wa Weibo wa polisi. – Dancan Bwire

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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