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Old image edited to show White House black out

June 2, 2020 GMT
Police form a line on H Street as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Social media users are sharing a photo from 2015 of the White House with its lights off and linking it to protests for George Floyd. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Police form a line on H Street as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Social media users are sharing a photo from 2015 of the White House with its lights off and linking it to protests for George Floyd. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CLAIM: Photo shows all the exterior and interior lights out at the White House on Sunday night, as President Donald Trump hid in a bunker.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The original photo was posted to a stock image site in 2015, before Trump took office.

THE FACTS: An image shared thousands of times online that appears to show all the lights out in and around the White House was taken before Trump even assumed office.

Associated Press photographs taken Sunday night show the front of the White House illuminated by exterior lights and the portico lantern turned on, but the mansion’s interior is dark.

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The viral photo, which has been edited, can be found on Getty Image’s stock website, where it was uploaded in December 2015. In the original, the lantern hanging in the White House portico is lit, along with several lights that surround the fountain in the front lawn.

The edited version that is being widely shared online has been darkened, and manipulated to remove the lit lantern.

Dozens of social media users shared the edited 2015 photo, claiming it showed the White House on Sunday night.

“Lights out at #WhiteHouse is a powerful symbol,” one Twitter user wrote.

Others claim it showed the White House Sunday night as Trump took shelter in a bunker. The Associated Press reported that Secret Service agents rushed the president to a White House bunker Friday night, as hundreds of protesters surrounded the executive mansion.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536