Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Picture Does NOT Show a Public Beach in China

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 08 May 2019 22:02:04 Z)

Does a picture often shared on social media show a very crowded public beach in China? No, that's not true: the photo actually shows an aerial shot of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro during the 2013 World Youth Day when Pope Francis celebrated mass there.

The photo recently went viral again via a post (archived here) on a Facebook page named "Pictures in History" where it was published on May 8, 2019 under the caption "A public beach in China. Wow!". It looked like this:

Screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/PicturesInHistory/photos/a.542142282630324/1307653916079153

This is the picture in question:


Media reports at the time clearly showed the crowding on the beach:

Pope's final World Youth Day mass draws large crowds in Rio

Hundreds of thousands sleep on Copacabana beach to celebrate mass with pope who is riding wave of popularity

Here are more pictures of the beach, you can recognize the white pointy tents, the blue tents and even the massive television screens:

Embed from Getty Images

So no, this is not China. Any page or website that tries to tell you that is attempting to fool you into clicking, liking or sharing things for their own benefit.

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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