Fact Check: ‘Kidnapped’ Billboard Hoax Unravelled – NJ, Not Australia!

In a case of mistaken identity, a photo that was widely shared on social media claiming to show a billboard in Australia with the faces of kidnapped people has been proven false. The photo, which garnered attention and sparked concern, was actually taken in Lakewood, New Jersey, not Australia. Talk about a kangaroo court!

The original photo showed a billboard with a series of headshots of individuals, with the word “KIDNAPPED” prominently displayed in red. The caption accompanying the photo proudly proclaimed, “Try ripping this down, assholes. Thank you Melbourne, Australia.” However, eagle-eyed fact-checkers quickly noticed that the billboard was misidentified.

A Google Maps view from July 2022 of Lakewood, New Jersey, shows the same area as the billboard, complete with the logo of the advertising company Scoop Outdoor. Scoop Outdoor even made a post showcasing the billboard in different locations, including the one seen in the viral photo. With this evidence, it’s clear that the billboard has nothing to do with Australia and everything to do with New Jersey. The shore is no place for kidnappings!

So what exactly is the story behind the billboard? Well, it turns out that the headshots featured on the billboard are of Israelis who have been captured by Hamas. The billboard is part of the “Kidnapped from Israel” campaign, seeking to raise awareness and advocate for the release of over 200 hostages. Looks like someone in Melbourne got their geography a bit mixed up!

In a heartwarming display of support, the Instagram caption accompanying another photo of the billboard thanked @thelakewoodscoop and @scoopoutdoor for displaying the banner and supporting the #BringThemHome campaign. It’s great to see communities rallying together to draw attention to such an important cause.

While the original misidentification of the billboard may have caused confusion, it’s important to fact-check before jumping to conclusions. Remember folks, always double-check your sources and don’t believe everything you see on social media. Just because something claims to be from Australia doesn’t mean it can outrun a kangaroo!

Written by Staff Reports

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