New York billboard displaying ‘Stand with Israel’ replacing pro-Ukraine messaging is digitally altered

By: Emmi Kivi
November 17 2023

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New York billboard displaying ‘Stand with Israel’ replacing pro-Ukraine messaging is digitally altered


The Verdict Fake

The billboard showing a pro-Ukraine message replaced by ‘Stand with Israel’ text does not exist. It has been digitally altered.

Claim ID 482212dc

What is the claim?

Social media users shared a video showing a pro-Israel message replacing a pro-Ukraine note on a large digital billboard. The caption of one such post reads, “Advertising in New York... The text 'Support Israel' squeezes out the text 'Support Ukraine,'" while other users shared the same video with the added text, "Even Ukraine ads got israeled." The post was earlier published on Telegram.

In the video, the text "Stand with Israel" is seen pushing the "Stand with Ukraine" message off the screen. On the billboard’s other screen, the flag of Ukraine is converted into the Israeli flag.

However, the billboard advert was digitally altered and does not exist.

What did we find?

Logically Facts geolocated the billboard to 761 Times Square, the intersection of 50th Street and 7th Avenue, in New York City. With a Google search, we discovered YouTube videos that matched the visuals of the viral clip. The YouTube videos were published concurrently when the altered video began to circulate on online platforms, on November 6 and November 15. However, these videos show the billboard to advertise the Trolls Band Together movie, which opens later this week.

Image on the left shows the digitally altered billboard on the viral video and image on the right is captured from the YouTube video with matching visuals, posted November 15. (Source: Facebook/YouTube)

In the digitally altered video, the advert for the Trolls movie is also displayed on the non-digital billboard below the digital screens. 

Additionally, social media users have posted videos from the billboard's location to demonstrate the viral video is fake. On November 14, an X user posted a video from the billboard’s location with the caption, “I filmed the video 3 min ago, there’s nothing about Ukraine or Israel.”

Screenshot of the X post captured at the billboard location, on November 14. The video displays an advert of the animated movie 
Trolls Band Together. (Source: X)

The video does not display pro-Ukraine or pro-Israeli messaging but shows an advert for the Trolls Band Together movie.

The billboard is owned by Clear Channel Outdoor, whose logo is also visible in the viral clip. The Senior vice president of corporate communications, Jason King, told Lead Stories, “The ad you reference is fake and hasn’t run on this or any other of our displays.”

The Verdict

The text on the Times Square billboard reading "Stand with Israel" has been digitally altered and does not exist. A company representative owning the billboard has confirmed the advert to be fake. The actual billboard displays an advert for the movie "Trolls Band Together." Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before