A fake article claims to show an 'anti-vaxx kissing protest' in Germany
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Some Facebook users have shared a post that includes what they say is an article by German media outlet Deutsche Welle showing crowds of people kissing during an anti-vaccine protest in Germany. Turns out, DW never published the article and the photo showing protesters kissing was actually taken in Chile in 2011.
The Facebook posts in question include an image, supposedly a screengrab taken from the English-language website of Deutsche Welle, a German media outlet. “German anti-vaccine protests outrage public health officials as thousands gather to kiss each other,” reads the title of the article.
One of these posts was shared nearly 100 times on Facebook.
How we realised the image was fake
Our team began by conducting a Google search for the article in Deutsche Welle. To do this, we typed the full title as it appeared in the Facebook post, preceded by the search command "site:dw.com", which produces results only from the Deutsche Welle website. The search turned up no articles published around the time the screenshot was posted on Facebook.
If the article existed, it would have appeared here, as most of the posts featuring the screengrab were posted in early December 2021.
The caption says this photo, taken in Santiago, Chile, on September 1, 2011, shows people taking part in the “World Kiss Marathon for Education” to raise awareness for the need for better education opportunities.
On December 9, Deutsche Welle itself posted a statement explaining that these Facebook posts were fake: "DW has written no such article or headline."
This article does come up on a Google search of the DW site if you do not include a date.
This photo of couples kissing was also misused in 2013 by the Moroccan website 360.ma, which made it seem like the photo was taken during a protest in Morocco.