A screenshot of a tweet claiming 50 Indian troops have been killed and 75 taken captive by the Chinese army, is doctored and fake.
The screenshot purports to be a tweet by an unverified account - Jing Xi (@ChinaJingXi) with over 11,000 followers. The account was created on March 19, 2020.
The fake image has gone viral barely 24 hours after 20 Indian soldiers including a commanding officer lost their lives after a major escalation of border tensions between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control in Galwan valley, Ladakh on June 15, 2020. Chinese troops are reported to have suffered casualties as well, although the exact number of deaths is still unknown.
The screenshot of the fake tweet includes an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"Indian army was abusing our chinese army so in retailiation 50 indan troopers got killed & 75 are still in our custody . We will start operation #CleanLadakh soon it will take only 1 month to remove india from ladakh @China @chinaArmy", the text claims.
BOOM found that the fake screenshot was being widely shared by several Kashmiri pages on Facebook. However, it is unclear whether the text of the tweet is being interpreted as a quote by Xi Jinping or a statement from the account Jing Xi.
Click here to view an archive
Click here to view an archive
BOOM found that the screenshot is morphed and that there is no tweet by the account with the text mentioned in the viral screenshot based on the following observations.
- There is no date visible in the viral screenshot
- The text of the screenshot shared by Facebook pages appears pixelated
- The screenshot appears to have been created tampering a pinned June 7th tweet by the account
- BOOM could not find any replies to the accounts mentioned in the fake tweet - ruling out the possibility that the tweet was deleted.
A look at Twitter handle's (@ChinaJingXi) timeline shows that the account last tweeted on June 7, 2020, with no recent tweets since then on the clash between Indian and Chinese troops which was reported on June 16, 2020.
The pinned tweet of the account from June 7, 2020, also has the same image of Chinese President Xi Jinping, but with different text which states, "The Chinese nation is a great nation; it has been through hardships and adversity but remains indomitable. #China"
The text of the original tweet is quote was made by Xi Jinping during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October 2017.
Click here to view an archive.
Fake Screenshot Created By Editing A Pinned Tweet
BOOM found several red flags in the viral screenshot to suggest it has been photoshopped.
The date is missing in the viral screenshot. The date in a pinned tweet can be seen near the handle name while viewing both in desktop and mobile mode.
Click here to view an archive of the real tweet.
No Replies To The Accounts Tagged In Screenshot
To rule out that the account had not tweeted and then deleted the tweet, we ran an advanced search using the tags used in the viral screenshot tweet @ChinaJingXi, @China, @chinaArmy but did not find any replies to a broken URL.
If such a tweet existed and actually had 162 replies as suggested by the screenshot - there would have been replies to a deleted tweet.
We also looked for archives of the tweet but did not find any.
Profile Photo Of A Fighter Pilot
The unverified Twitter @ChinaJingXi was created on March 19, 2020 and claims to be based out of Hong Kong.
On performing a reverse image search using Google Images, we also found that the account was using a photo of a Chinese female J-10 fighter pilot Yu Xu, who died in a crash on November 14, 2016.
At the time of writing the article, the account had only 33 tweets - all of which all were in English.
It is not clear who is behind the account @ChinaJingXi and whether it is authentic.
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