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Image of fortress-like wall protecting White House is fake

November 4, 2020 GMT
A view of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, on Election Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A view of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, on Election Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

CLAIM: Photo shows a massive wall currently set up in front of the White House.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. This image was fabricated using an aerial photo of the White House from 2009. It’s true that additional anti-scale fencing was set up around the White House before Election Day. However, the fencing does not resemble the wall in this image.

THE FACTS: A doctored photo of a towering gray wall in front of the White House was widely shared as real on social media on Tuesday as voters nationwide cast their ballots for president.

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“Look at this monstrosity Trump has built in the middle of our nation’s capitol, in ‘our White House,’” read a Facebook post from the popular left-leaning page The Other 98%. The post continued with a claim that the “final image of the Trump presidency” would be the “bunker” featured in the photo.

However, that “bunker” is not real. A reverse-image search reveals the wall was digitally added to a 2009 aerial photo of the White House that appears on Getty Images.

The shadows of the trees in the image provide additional proof the wall was superimposed onto an existing photo. The shadows appear to peek out underneath the wall, despite the fact that the wall is as tall as the trees in the image.

It’s true that anti-scale fencing has been set up surrounding the White House complex as a temporary security measure for Election Day and the days afterward. However, that fencing is much shorter and does not match the wall in the photo.

The National Park Service confirmed to the AP that the image being shared on Facebook does not resemble actual fencing on the White House complex.

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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