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Fake photos misrepresent xenophobic violence

Misinformed images have been surfacing that have nothing to do with the current xenophobic attacks.

At a time of high tensions in South Africa, images have been surfacing that have nothing to do with the current xenophobic violence plaguing several cities. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Among social media's biggest dangers is the all too often distribution of incorrect information.

At a time of high tensions in South Africa, images have been surfacing that have nothing to do with the current xenophobic violence plaguing several cities.

This is a heads up to people to be a bit more careful when it comes to sharing images, especially in cases which deal with issues as sensitive as this.

Here are just some of the images and videos currently being shared, which are either old and misrepresenting the facts of what's currently happening; or they're completely different countries and have nothing to do with the current xenophobic attacks.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Many people are sharing the below photo as if it were part of the recent spate of xenophobic attacks. The image is actually from 2008 and the photographer, Jon Hrusa, died in 2011. Thus, it's impossible that he was able to capture this image in 2015.

This famous photo of man who was burnt to death was taken during the 2008 wave of xenophobic attacks. It has made resurgence on social media, misrepresenting it as occurring in 2015.

Beaten and set alight,

Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave was murdered by a mob in an informal settlement nearly seven years ago.

This picture of a person whose back has been hacked has also made waves on social media and is being 'directly linked' to the current xenophobic violence. This is a complete distortion of facts.

The picture is of an incident which took place in Nigeria and while there's no definitive clarity on what the actual story behind it is; what is clear is that the image already existed in 2012 meaning its circulation this year is unrelated to recent events.

There are several videos going around claiming to be based on the current xenophobic violence, where three men are necklaced by a group of angry residents. This video was actually taken in the North West and is evidence of mob justice and not xenophobia.

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