Viral fake post claims Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp will be inaccessible for seven days

Claim: A Facebook post screenshot, purportedly from the verified handle of Mark Zuckerberg, claims Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger will be inaccessible again but this time for seven days starting from October 6, 2021.

Verdict: The alleged screenshot from Mark Zuckerberg being circulated is false.

Full Text

On Monday, October 4, 2021, social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger suffered outrages and were inaccessible for six hours, leaving billions of users worldwide frustrated.

Users who rely on social media platforms for everything from connecting with friends to running their businesses were restricted. The last time the three Facebook-owned networks went down was on March 19, 2021.

On Monday evening, Facebook in a post on Twitter confirmed its apps were coming back online and apologised to users for a blackout that affected millions of people across the world.

However, a Facebook post screenshot which is now widely shared on WhatsApp, purportedly from the verified handle of Mark Zuckerberg, claims Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger will be inaccessible again but this time for seven days starting from October 6, 2021.

The Facebook post reads: “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to shut down again for 168 hours(7days). I apologize for the disruption. I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about. We will start our upgrade on Wednesday October 6th 2021 – 1300 hours.”

Facebook Instagram WhatsApp
A screenshot of the purported Facebook post from Mark Zuckerberg

Verification

Dubawa started by checking Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page to check all the recent posts made by him.

This search shows that the circulated post was manipulated from one of his recent posts.

The original post from Mark Zuckerberg was made on Tuesday, October 5 to apologise for the disruption. It reads: “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”

Facebook Instagram WhatsApp
A screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg’s original post

Also, the fake Facebook post had a tag “Facebook for Android” which suggests that the post was made from an Android phone but checks have shown that Facebook doesn’t include tags about the type of phone a post is made with, unlike Twitter.

Dubawa also made use of Forensically, a tool for digital image forensics, which confirmed that the picture had been created by some photo manipulation tricks.

Image 1

Facebook Instagram WhatsApp

Image 1 is a result of the image using Forensically’s error level analysis on the original post from Mark Zuckerberg which shows a glittering ray of colours emerging from the text.

Image 2

The same error analysis is conducted on image 2 which is the fake post purportedly from Zuckerberg. Aside from three glittering parts of the image,  the main text is entirely black and white unlike the original post (Image 1).

Conclusion

Findings have shown that Facebook post’s screenshot, purportedly from the verified handle of Mark Zuckerberg, is false. The original post from Zuckerberg was manipulated to mislead the public.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with The Nigerian Tribune to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.


You might also like
Comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More