False: Oxford is preparing for the New World Order by implementing surveillance road signs.

By: Annie Priya
January 16 2023

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False: Oxford is preparing for the New World Order by implementing surveillance road signs.


The Verdict False

An image of an Oxfordshire road sign that states drivers are leaving "District 5" has been digitally manipulated.

Claim ID fae3cc60



After Oxfordshire County Council passed the new traffic filter scheme on November 29, 2022, many social media users criticized the government, claiming it would control people's movement through its traffic plans. A recent image of two signboards, one stating "police enforcement cameras" and another underneath saying, "You are now Leaving District 5," was shared on social media with the caption "Oxford preparing for the New World Order. A Twitter user named Rob McNealy, founder of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), tweeted to his over 357k followers, "Anyone clamoring for "walkable" cities, or that advocates for government transportation dependence, should be viewed with suspicion & contempt. They want you to be weak, helpless & dependent. They want to control your movement." However, this claim is untrue.

In Fact

Performing a reverse image search, we traced the image back to 2016. Ma3Route, a mobile/web/SMS platform that crowd-sources for transport data and provides users with traffic information, tweeted the original image on April 10, 2016, with a caption, "12:39. Which one will proactively make you slow down via @mountainous. (sic)" However, the original picture only displays the signboard that says "Police enforcement cameras." The other signboard saying, "you are now Leaving District 5," does not exist in the original image.

Logically checked elements of the two pictures and found that the viral image had been edited out of this 2016 photograph. The signboard in the original image has the number "03362" on the sidebars. In the now-viral image, we can see the second digitally added signboard covering the number 03 while the numbers 062 are visible.

There are other similarities between the original image and the viral image — a blue bus, two red cars, and one white van can be seen passing by the signboard from the other direction. Additionally, there is a distinct difference between the two signboards' shapes and color tones. 

The Telegraph also published the original image on May 31, 2016, which shows only the sign saying "police enforcement cameras." The article's image caption states, "Average speed cameras have been added on urban streets as well as A-roads." The image is credited to Eleanor Bentall, a U.K.-based photographer. 

Logically contacted Jo Draper, the Communications and Engagement Officer (Strategic Programmes) for Oxfordshire County Council, for further clarification about the doctored image. In an email response on January 13, 2023, she said, "The image is digitally altered. We have not had any District 5 signs like this on our highways, and there are no plans for Oxfordshire County Council to implement them."

In December 2022, Logically debunked a similar claim where Oxford's traffic scheme was misinterpreted as a "climate lockdown" that confined residents to their neighborhoods. 

The New World Order is a popular conspiracy theory that claims that "elites" (celebrities, politicians, and other public figures) control the world with tacit knowledge. This conspiracy theory has been connected to various streams like medical and political misinformation and circulated on social media. However, there is no evidence to back such claims.

The Verdict

The now-viral image of the "District 5" road sign has been digitally altered. A spokesperson for the Oxfordshire County Council has denied such a claim. Therefore, we mark this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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