Australian politician hit by fake article claiming he referred to unvaccinated with racial slur
Facebook posts circulating in Australia purport to a show an article reporting that Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria state, referred to unvaccinated people using a racial slur. However, the article is fabricated to look like a report by 7NEWS, which said it did not publish any such story. Keyword searches found the purported article does not correspond to any report on the broadcaster's website.
ATTENTION: This article contains offensive language.
The screenshot, which was shared on Facebook on November 27, purports to show a news report claiming that Andrews used a racial slur to refer to unvaccinated people and said they "should drink from separate water fountains".
The screenshot features the logo of Australian broadcaster 7NEWS alongside publication details: "Published: 23/11/2021 / Updated: Tuesday, 23 November 2021 2:46 PM AEDT".
The Facebook post reads: "Daniel Andrews, the virus has never been isolated and we are tired of the shame game!! Your disrespect is atrocious. It is time that you stood down with your cronies".
However, the report is fabricated.
"I can confirm that screenshot is fake," a spokesperson for 7NEWS told AFP on November 30.
A keyword search on the 7NEWS website found an article with the same publication details as the fabricated report. However, the headline reads: "Daniel Andrews ‘can’t rule out’ COVID-19 vaccine rules for kids aged under 12, says it is too early to make the call".
Below is a comparison between the fabricated report (left) and the genuine 7NEWS article (right).
Keyword searches on Google did not find credible reports about Andrews referring to unvaccinated people using a racial slur.
A reverse image search found the image of Andrews in the fabricated report was taken in 2017 by an Australian Associated Press photographer.
Andrews' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
December 2, 2021 This article was updated to remove quotations that contained the racial slur.