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‘Build the Wall’ sign added to photo of Martha’s Vineyard house

September 23, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A photo shows a “Build the Wall” sign in the yard of a house on Martha’s Vineyard.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered photo. The photo circulating online, which shows a real house on Martha’s Vineyard, is a manipulated version of an image that appeared as part of a magazine story in 2020. In the original, there is no “Build the Wall” sign.

THE FACTS: Following Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to fly some 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week, a fabricated image purporting to show a house on the island with a yard sign that reads “Build the Wall” spread on social media.

“NOW HAPPENING AT MARTHA’S VINEYARD,” a caption on the altered photo states. One Facebook post in which it appears had received more than 29,000 reactions and more than 19,000 shares as of Wednesday.

The sign references the wall former President Donald Trump proposed building along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem illegal immigration, a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign and presidency.

A reverse-image search shows that the original Martha’s Vineyard photo was taken by Pernille Loof, a New York-based photographer, and appeared in a 2020 story published by Architectural Digest about a renovation the house underwent. It is also featured on the website of Boris Baranovich Architects, a New York-based firm which the Architectural Digest story states worked on the renovation.

The migrants, most of whom are Venezuelan, sued DeSantis and Florida transportation secretary Jared Perdue Tuesday for engaging in a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to relocate them, the AP reported. They were moved voluntarily Friday to a military base on Cape Cod.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.