HOAX: This link does not lead to a new health app invented by Ethiopian students and academic | by PesaCheck | Sep 2022

ByLance T. Lee

Sep 29, 2022

The link leads to “Google Fit”, a health tracking application created by Google.

This Facebook post claiming that an Ethiopian academic collaborated with students to invent a new health app that helps users protect themselves against illnesses at home is a hoax.

The message in Afaan Oromo shared on September 20, 2022 translates to; “Together with the students pictured below, we’ve come up with a new app that will help protect you against any disease at home.”

The publication advises users: “Please download and use the app.”

A link to the claimed application is also attached to the message.

The message is accompanied by an image of young people, with badges hanging from their necks.

In August 2022, PesaCheck found the page that shared the post we are investigating as an impostor posing as Ethiopian scholar Raji Ashenafi.

PesaCheck reviewed the link attached to the Facebook post and found that it did not lead to a new app invented by Raji et al.

The link leads to an article about a health app known as “Google Fit”, along with a download link.

The download link directs to the Google Play page, where one can install the “Google Fit: Activity Tracker” app developed by Google to track health on the mobile phone system. The link does not lead to a new student-invented health app, as claimed.

PesaCheck has learned that the image attached to the message is also changed.

Google reverse image search results established that the original image shows students and has been online since 2020. The image was posted on the The time of dreams website with a description that reads: “Portrait of college student friends gathering in a busy communal campus building”.

The original image has been digitally manipulated and Raji’s head from this photo has been added to create the claim.

PesaCheck has investigated a post shared on Facebook claiming an Ethiopian academic collaborated with students to invent a new app that helps users protect themselves against disease and finds it to be a hoax.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organizations like PesaCheck help tell fact from fiction. We do this by giving audiences deeper insight and context into the posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or misinformation on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here is more information on The PesaCheck methodology to check for questionable content.

This fact check was written by PesaCheck’s senior fact checker Tolera Gemta and edited by the editor of PesaCheck Cedrick Irakoze and acting editor Francis Mwaniki.

The article has been approved for publication by the editor of PesaCheck Doreen Wainainah.

PesaCheck is the first public finance fact-checking initiative in East Africa. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arensteinand is incubated by the continent’s largest civic tech and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It aims to help the public separate fact from fiction in public statements about the numbers that shape our world, with particular emphasis on public finance statements that shape government delivery of public services and development goals. (SDGs), such as health care, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reporting. To learn more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africathrough his fund innovateAFRICAwith the support of Deutsche Welle Academyin partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watch organizations.



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