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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

# factcheck

This week
26th November 2023 - 2nd December 2023
Debunked: Gardaí have not installed 'watch towers' on O'Connell Street after riots in Dublin
Images from O’Connell Street actually show light projection boxes.
Debunked: Old footage from Egypt shared with false claims it shows Israel storming Gaza hospital
Footage shows people seeking shelter in a hospital as gunshots can be heard outside.
FactCheck: False claims the army was deployed during Dublin City riots seen millions of times
A photo from Terenure was used to bolster the claim by far-right activists and an Open Source Intelligence account.
Last week
19th November 2023 - 2nd December 2023
Debunked: Fake News site spreads baseless claim of a second stabbing at a school in Ballymun
Fake news quickly spread in the wake of a attack at Parnell Square
Major analysis shows how Irish disinformation ecosystem has been 'co-opted by far-right actors'
Groups that grew during the pandemic changed their targets in recent years.
Last month
November 2023
Ireland “a victim of Russian disinformation”, experts on Ukraine war say
Pro-Kremlin narratives have reached both social and mainstream media.
Anti-immigration groups use Israel-Gaza violence to push antisemitism and Islamophobia online
A report by
Shane Raymond
Online activists in Ireland have attempted to use the conflict to incite hatred of Jews or Arabs or, in some cases, both.
Debunked: Years-old video of hospital bombing in Syria claimed to show strike on Gaza
The hospital, which housed Aleppo’s only pediatric department, was reportedly bombed more than a dozen times in 2016.
Debunked: Photo of ‘corpse’ using phone isn't from Gaza; it actually shows a Halloween costume
Images from filmmakers and protests have also been misleadingly said to show that Gaza casualties are a hoax.
October 2023
FactCheck: Have 40,000 landlords really left Ireland's rental market in the past five years?
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said recently that it is “indisputable” that we have seen a reduction of around 40,000 rental properties in the private rental sector.
Debunked: Scam ads falsely claim that Dublin Airport is clearing out 'lost luggage' for €2
The ads have appeared on Facebook in recent weeks.
FactFind: What exactly do we know - and not know - about the Gaza hospital explosion
What caused the blast, as well as the death toll, remains the subject of debate
Debunked: YouTube ads feature Elon Musk in deepfake videos pushing cryptocurrency scams
An AI-generated Irish newsreader was also used in one fraudulent video.
Debunked: A double-decker bus which caught fire in Bradford was not an electric vehicle
A misleading post in a Facebook group that alerts the locations of speed vans in the Dublin area was viewed more than 5 million times.
FactCheck: Misleading claims about sex education found on leaflets about the SPHE curriculum
A report by
Shane Raymond
Claims about “children’s innocence” often conflate what is taught to teens with what is taught to toddlers
How X, formerly Twitter, is platforming a deluge of misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war
Misinformation spread rapidly on the Elon Musk-owned site, including claims relating to Ireland’s stance on the conflict.
Debunked: Fake RTÉ posts about Anne Doyle are a hoax to promote a cryptocurrency scheme
Similar hoaxes promoting cryptocurrency have featured other Irish celebrities.
Debunked: An old image of Leo Varadkar has been altered to promote a climate change conspiracy
The original image featured a sign saying “Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All”.
FactCheck: Is the Government giving landlords twice as much as renters in Budget 2024?
The claim was made in the Dáil during this year’s Budget speeches.
FactFind: QAnon website promoted on anti-SPHE leaflets protesting sex ed in Ireland
Controversy over curriculum changes is being used to push conspiracy theories about child-murdering Satanists
September 2023
Debunked: Video alleging fraud cites baseless claims about Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s assets
Properties in Israel, Miami and near the Sherlock Holmes home in London are cited in attempts to discredit the Ukrainian president
Debunked: Australian footage from 2021 used to imply Covid lockdowns are being enforced again
A recent date superimposed over footage of the premier of Victoria has stirred up anger
Factcheck: MEP Clare Daly ‘mistakenly’ cited wrong fatality figures for Russian invasion of Ukraine
Daly had also said that Ukraine had lost territory, citing Russian annexation declarations.
Debunked: Fake government letter used to spread rumour of Ukrainians being extradited to fight
Other forgeries pushing the same narrative have been spread by eastern European pro-Kremlin groups.
Debunked: Doctored image of RTÉ headline spread with anti-immigrant messages
A photo of migrants in Calais, France, was used to suggest that the media was lying.
Debunked: Conspiracy site Infowars used fake claims about Ireland as evidence of 'white genocide'
A comment given by a CSO worker to a committee has been taken as evidence of a non-existent government plan.
Factcheck: What did an expert on Youth Justice tell the Citizens’ Assembly about drug crime?
A UL professor said most young offenders simply “grow out of crime” without intervention.
Debunked: The Canadian government hasn't banned the British outlet GB News
Meta has been blocking all news content in Canada in response to a proposed new law.
FactFind: What are the laws around asylum seekers being able to vote in Irish elections?
Irish and British citizens can vote in General Elections, but all residents can vote in local elections.
August 2023
FactFind: Do more than a thousand people die per year in Ireland due to burning solid fuels?
The Farmers’ Alliance, which says it will run as a political party, mocked claims made by a Green minister during a debate on turf.
Lasers, ‘magic trees’ and Simpsons predictions: False claims about Maui wildfires spread online
Debunked theories suggest that weapons were fired from space to create “15-minute smart cities”.
Debunked: Irish users among those fooled by AI image of Pope in front of huge crowds
Headlines were made by a previous fake Francis photo, AI-generated by a man on magic mushrooms who wanted “to see the Pope in a funny jacket”.
Debunked: Government has not forbidden business grants and modular homes for Irish people
A video viewed more than 47,000 times claimed modular homes don’t pass safety regulations for Irish people.
Debunked: Incompatible athlete death stats continue to be used to mislead about vaccines
Heart problems in athletes have been deceptively blamed on COVID-19 vaccines
Debunked: A public killing and attempted abductions latest in baseless claims against migrants
Gardaí had no record of the a supposed public killing with a hatchet in Dublin City.
Debunked: No, there hasn't been a 21% rise in deaths due to the Covid-19 vaccine
A clip of the artist Kevin Sharkey has been shared widely on social media apps in recent weeks.
FactCheck: Did five garda recruits resign immediately after starting training?
A tweet from an independent Senator claims that five garda recruits immediately quit after beginning training.
Debunked: This video does not show Ukrainian soldiers surrendering 'without a fight'
The video has been shared widely on social media with inaccurate descriptions.
Debunked: No, a factory in England is not growing human meat for consumption
A widely shared clip from a Channel 4 documentary is satirical.
Debunked: Climate change is not still being debated by scientists
A video shared on a farming organisation’s Facebook page contains misleading information.