A series of photographs published on the alleged destruction being reported in Sinharaja A series of photographs published on the alleged destruction being reported in Sinharaja
Mar 24, 2019

Fake News:  Photographs on Wilpattu are a canard Featured

This is a picture published on a Facebook page that claims to advocate for environmental conservation. The picture claimed that it depicts alleged destruction in the Sinharaja forest reserve.

The photo was also seen on a foreign news site as well, published in 2013, regarding the devastation. The photo is actually relevant to a disaster that took place in Brazil, and many international media outlets all over the world have published the same in different languages pertaining to the deforestation in Brazil, the BBC Sinhala Service reports.

On a conversation with the BBC Sinhala Service, admin of the above Facebook page, has said, "I extracted the picture from a page called Amberella, also it was on few more sites, I cannot remember them."

While admitting that he had done a mistake, the admin had taken action to remove the photo from his Facebook page, but it had already been exchanged among thousands on Facebook.

The issue with social media is that anyone can disseminate a copy of such a fake photo or news item taking screenshot with a mobile phone, though an admin would have removed their original postings.

However, the Admin of the page had acknowledged that people would be misled with such false propaganda and their credibility will also be diminished.

Below is  another photograph published on the said deforestation in the Sinharaja forest.

The photo has been published on FB page of a person called Malshan Chathuranga and that has already been shared by over eight thousand people.

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The first photo of this was in an online news item published in 2015. It was a news story about Indonesia. The BBC Indonesian service also confirmed it. The picture has been used to depict forest destruction and environmental issues.

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The second photograph is reported in 2016, and it has been captured in Amazon in Brazil by a photographer. This photograph has also been published in hundreds of other news sites in many languages. The third photo also appeared in various language websites  from year 2018 onwards.

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How to test the accuracy of a photo?

If the photo cannot be downloaded, use its URL address. Go to this site to get a Google search for a photo.

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If the photograph is used earlier, the following websites will appear on the screen.

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(Courtesy - BBC Sinhala service)

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