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Debunked: No, this is not a photo of a man attacked by George Nkencho

An image being shared on social media is actually of an Everton football fan attacked in 2019.

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LAST WEEK, GARDAÍ shot dead 27-year-old George Nkencho in Clonee, Co Dublin.

Mr Nkencho was involved in two incidents in the Hartstown Shopping Centre beginning at around 12.15pm last Wednesday afternoon.

In the first instance at a Eurospar shop, gardaí said a male staff member received facial injuries. Gardaí also said that, in a second incident at a nearby post office, Nkencho “continued to threaten members of the public” while armed with a knife.

However, an image being shared on Facebook purporting to show injuries apparently inflicted by Mr Nkencho on an employee in a shop is fake.

The image, which has been shared by more than 600 accounts on Facebook, has a caption which reads ‘The bloke George slashed for doing his job’. 

Gardaí reported that a male staff member received facial injuries during the incident in the shop in Hartstown but this image does not show that. TheJournal.ie has clarified, through gardaí, that the man was hurt but was not stabbed or slashed with a knife during the assault.

This image on the right is of an Everton Football Club fan who was attacked before an FA Cup game in January 2019.

nkencho

The Liverpool Echo spoke to Jay Burns about his experience, and he described needing more than 25 stitches after the attack involving football fans before a Millwall game.

The close-up photo of Burns can be seen in this article, which happened almost two years before the incidents of last week and in a different country. 

Similarly, the other image in the post showing a man with stab wounds to his back dates back well over a decade, and originated in the US to be used for training purposes by law enforcement authorities, according to US factchecking website Snopes.

This post purporting to show injuries inflicted by Mr Nkencho is entirely false and from completely different incidents. 

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There is a lot of false news and scaremongering being spread in Ireland at the moment about coronavirus. Here are some practical ways for you to assess whether the messages that you’re seeing – especially on WhatsApp – are true or not. 

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STOP, THINK AND CHECK 

Look at where it’s coming from. Is it someone you know? Do they have a source for the information (e.g. the HSE website) or are they just saying that the information comes from someone they know? A lot of the false news being spread right now is from people claiming that messages from ‘a friend’ of theirs. Have a look yourself – do a quick Google search and see if the information is being reported elsewhere. 

Secondly, get the whole story, not just a headline. A lot of these messages have got vague information (“all the doctors at this hospital are panicking”) and don’t mention specific details. This is often – but not always a sign – that it may not be accurate. 

Finally, see how you feel after reading it. A lot of these false messages are designed to make people feel panicked. They’re deliberately manipulating your feelings to make you more likely to share it. If you feel panicked after reading something, check it out and see if it really is true.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie

About the author:

Sean Murray

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