A photograph has emerged on social media in a viral Facebook post showing the Empire State Building lit in the colours of the Ghanaian flag. The author of the post claimed that the building in New York City was illuminated with the colours of the Ghanaian flag to honour Ghana’s participation in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The post has been met with a lot of disagreements from social media users, including a former presidential staffer, Stan Xoese Dogbe, who in a counter post, published a screenshot of the photograph of the building illuminated in the colours of the Indian flag posted by Empire State Building on Twitter.
Fact-Check Ghana presents the facts surrounding the viral photograph below.
A reverse image search for the photograph on Google, Yandex and TinEye yielded no results for the photograph in question. The search, however, led to a similar photograph that was posted by Empire State Building on its Facebook page on August 15, 2017, and August 15, 2022, respectively to commemorate India’s Independence Day.
A Google search with the keywords “Empire state building lit in Ghana flag” yielded no results with the said image. In addition to that, a search on the Empire State Building’s website and Twitter page did not show such a photograph.
Again, the Facebook post was made on November 20, 2022, but on the website of the Empire State Building, there is a list of dates when the art deco skyscraper is lit to commemorate different events. There was no mention of Ghana on any of the listed dates from January 2022 to November 2022.
That notwithstanding, a Graphical Interchange Format (GIF), showing the building lit with the colours of the countries participating in the world cup was posted on the Twitter page of the monument on November 20, 2022, with the caption “The 2022 @FIFAcom World Cup is on #FIFAWorldCup #ESBright”. Ghana’s red, gold and green can be seen in the GIF but aside from that, there is no photograph on the Twitter and Facebook pages as well as the website of the Empire State Building.
The writer of this report, Thelma Dede Amedeku, is a Fellow of the Next Generation Investigative Journalism Fellowship at the Media Foundation for West Africa.
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