Beware of this fake image to distort Italian TV channel coverage of the war in Ukraine

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2022 at 4:16 pm

Posts that have been circulated several hundred times on Facebook claim that an Italian TV channel used an image from the American movie “Deep Impact” to illustrate the flight of Kievans from the Russian invasion. But the parent company of the TGCOM24 channel denied broadcasting this image, and AFP did not find any trace of it in the Italian channel’s reports. Moreover, the TGCOM24 logo that appears in the Facebook posts is incomplete.The Belgian author of this post, which has been moved more than 160 times on Facebook since March 15, 2022, shared a montage of two nearly identical photos, showing people outside their cars stuck in a huge traffic jam. At the top the picture is written in Italian, “Escape from Kyiv”, With the logo of the Italian TV channel TGCOM24. Below, also in Italian A deep-impact cinematic scene. Text attached to this montage: “A simple manipulation of Italian TV. Above, ‘escape’ from kyiv. Below, a scene from the movie Deep Impact”.

“The schedule of TV programs has changed… they are showing old films… (sic) 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Comments are, ironically, the author of the publication.

Screenshot taken on 03/18/2022 on Facebook Similar posts have been shared several hundred times in France and are also distributed in English, Italian and Portuguese.

It is part of a series of false claims made to the Western media since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US channel CNN, for example, has been repeatedly accused of spreading false images of the war in Ukraine, allegations that AFP has verified here and here.

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In fact, there is no evidence that the Italian TV channel TGCOM24 broadcast this picture. AFP did not find a trace of it, and a representative of the chain’s parent company confirmed to AFP that this photo was “…fake“.

A reverse image search with Google – see here how to do it – allows verification that the image is indeed from the American movie Deep Impact, released in 1998. This disaster movie, the trailer available here, depicts a comet hurtling towards Earth and threatening destroying mankind.

The image shared in these posts shows residents trying to escape the tsunami caused by the comet’s impact on Earth.

Screenshot taken on the Alamy image bank website, 03/18/2022 APF has done several reverse image searches using different tools – Google image, Google Lens, Tineye, Yandex – but no results indicating a report from TGCOM24.

AFP gave an interview to the Director of Legal Affairs of RTI Resort (Italian Radio and Television), the broadcasting branch of the Italian group MFE (formerly Mediaset) to which TGCOM24 belongs. On March 11, 2022, it was confirmed by Stefano Longhini “RTI does not interfere with reported misassembly (…)”.

Stefano Longhini confirmed that there is no “Mediaset” logo from the photo montage shared by netizens, while this logo usually appears above the TV channel’s name in all TGCOM24 reports, for example here, here or again here.

Screenshot taken on Facebook on 03/18/2022 Screenshot taken on TGCOM24 channel website on 03/18/2022

“There is no doubt that our logo has been pasted by others at our expense, and the image is clearly a fake,” Stefano Longini said.

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This image with the TGCOM24 logo has been circulating since at least February 28, 2022 in Italian. AFP examined a number of channel reports broadcast that day related to the conflict in Ukraine: some, like this one, show pictures of Ukrainians fleeing the country by train (00:45 time). But Agence France-Presse did not find any trace of the image of the movie Deep Impact in these reports.

Plus de 3,2 millions de personnes ont fui l’Ukraine et les combats déclenchés par l’invasion de l’armée russe le 24 février, dont plus de 2 millions sont allées en Pologne, selon le décompte de l’ONU publié le 18 Mars. The United Nations has also identified about two million internally displaced people.

On 17 March 2022, during a visit to the European Union’s Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC), which is responsible for humanitarian aid and civil protection, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, expressed concern about the consequences of the conflict: “As long as the Russian aggression continues, the number of refugees will continue to increase. We currently have one million refugees per week, and if this continues for another ten weeks, we may reach the figure of 15 million.”Janez Lenarcic told reporters. Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, Ukraine had a population of 43 million.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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