HOAX ALERT: ‘Man selling human meat in Nairobi butchery’ story is false

A man has been “caught red-handed selling human meat in a Nairobi butchery”, the headline of a story on a website masquerading as the genuine African Daily Voice blared in November 2018.

The suspect was due in court, according to an unnamed “regional police commander”.

The story was shared to Facebook groups with tens of thousands of followers, including CNN-Kenya – liked by at least 177,000 users – and the Raila Odinga – The Kenya we want page, which has more than 168,000 followers.

The story is too grim to think about, but there’s an upside: it’s false.

Joseph Ole Tito, the Nairobi county police commander, told Africa Check no such case has been reported to the city’s authorities.

Text copied from real story

The article shows many of the clues to phoney stories, as found in Africa Check’s guide to verifying websites.

It is poorly written with several grammatical mistakes. The headline says the butchery is in Nairobi, but the text doesn’t mention the city at all.

It also doesn’t give any dates, and a quick online check found no other reports on what would have been a newsworthy story.

The story’s first three paragraphs are lifted directly from a story by international news agency Reuters in December 2017. It was part of an investigative series into the body trade in the US.

A reverse image search found the story’s photo of meat carcasses was from a Swedish wine magazine article on “Beef and wine from Tuscany”, published in February 2015.

Website registered just days before

Another clue is that the website’s domain was registered on 2 November 2018, just three days before it published the story. The registration is through a US-based third-party company, meaning the real owners of the domain are hard to verify.

Many other stories on the site border on the outlandish, and it doesn’t have an “about” section that could tell us more about the kind of publication it is. – Alphonce Shiundu (04/12/2018)

UPDATE: This fact-check has been updated to clearly distinguish between the genuine African Daily Voice website and www.african-daily.com, which published this false story. The imposter website is illegally using African Daily Voice’s logo, as its director explains here.


Further reading:

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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