Indonesia warns against spreading 'hoaxes' about Lion Air crash tragedy
Jakarta - An image shared thousands of times on social media claims to show a baby being rescued from a Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia with 189 people on board.
However, no survivors have been reported since Monday's crash, and the image is from a deadly boat accident in July this year.
WHAT ARE WE VERIFYING?
The misleading image circulated on Facebook within hours of Lion Air flight JT 610 diving into the Java Sea.
The Boeing-737 MAX, which went into service just months ago, crashed 12 minutes after taking off from Jakarta airport.
Multiple Facebook posts with the misleading image, showing the baby wearing a life vest, claimed it was taken shortly after the child was saved.
One of the posts -- which was shared nearly 5 000 times in the first 24 hours after posting -- gave in-depth but fictional details about the purported rescue.
"Thank God for saving this baby, a victim of the JT 610 flight covered in life jacket by the baby’s mother," the caption in the post said.
"Unfortunately, the mother has not been found until now. Please be patient, dear baby. Hopefully you will become a religious child."
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said on Twitter that the baby was a survivor from a boat that sank in waters off Indonesia’s Selayar island on July 3.
"This information is a hoax. Please don't spread hoaxes," Sutopo said in a tweet on Tuesday about the purported photo of the baby being rescued from the plane.
Thirty-four people died and more than 150 were rescued in the July ferry sinking.
Indonesian media carried photos and videos of the baby in their July reports on the ferry disaster that confirmed Sutopo's post.
WHAT CONCLUSION CAN BE DRAWN
The misleading photo is an example of disinformation that proliferates on social media in relation to disasters and other events that cause human misery.
Sutopo also posted more tweets following the plane crash warning against other pieces of disinformation.
These included a video that he said falsely claimed to be of passengers screaming before the crash, and a photo purporting to show the wreckage of the plane.AFP