The image has been doctored to add a woman into a photo of an armoured vehicle in Yangon
An image purportedly showing a woman with a sword confronting a tank in Myanmar has been shared on Facebook and Twitter as the junta intensifies a crackdown on anti-coup protesters. However, the image has been doctored from a photo of military vehicles patrolling Yangon in which the woman does not appear.
The photo was shared here on Twitter on February 16, 2021.
“Tank Man protesting against tyranny. A woman held a knife and stood in front of the Myanmar armoured vehicle!” the Chinese-language tweet reads.
The image shows a woman wielding a sword standing before an approaching armoured vehicle.
“Tank Man” is a reference to the iconic image of a man standing in front of a tank during the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing in 1989.
Protesters have taken to the streets in Myanmar since the military seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021, detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Troops have been deployed around the Southeast Asian nation's biggest city Yangon to quell opposition to the new military junta, which justified its power seizure by alleging widespread voter fraud in November elections won by Suu Kyi's party in a landslide.
However, the picture has been doctored.
Google reverse image searches and keyword searches found a similar photo published in this article on the website of Myanmar media network DVB TV News, dated February 14, 2021.
Below is a screenshot comparison between the picture from the misleading tweet (L) and the photo from the DVB TV News article (R):
The Burmese-language headline reads “Armoured vehicles patrol in Yangon (Photo)”, while the photo caption states: “Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s armed forces]'s armoured vehicles have been patrolling in Yangon where the protests against the military coup escalated since this evening of February 14, (2021). The armoured vehicles and police vehicles were seen marching and patrolling this evening.”
The photo is credited to “Htet Wai Aung / MPA / Min Naing / Nyi Nge”.
A keyword search found similar photos published here on the official Facebook page of Myanmar’s photo agency MPA.
The caption of the Facebook post written in Burmese and English says: “Some armoured vehicles are driving around Yangon today (February 14) / Photo - MPA”.
UPDATE: This article was updated on February 18, 2021 to clarify that the image shows an armoured vehicle, not a tank.