Photo of man in hospital bed does not show Gaza 'crisis actor'

By: John Faerseth
January 12 2024

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Photo of man in hospital bed does not show Gaza 'crisis actor'

Source: Instagram (Screenshot modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This photo has existed online since at least 2019 and was taken from a satirical Malaysian movie. It does not show a crisis actor in Gaza.

Claim ID 5fa27861

A photo currently being shared on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) shows a man lying in a hospital bed with what appears to be a pulse oximeter pinched on his nose and electrodes on his cheeks. The caption reads, "Just a few important items: 1. The EKG heart monitoring electrodes go on the chest and not your face. 2. The Pulse Oximeter goes on your finger, and not your nose. #pallywood." 

The term "Pallywood" has been used by social media users since the beginning of the current war in Gaza to mock victims and claim that Palestinians are using crisis actors. However, this picture has circulated on the internet since 2019 and is not connected to Palestine or the ongoing conflict. 

In fact 

The picture has circulated on the internet at least since 2019, when it was shared on X with the caption, "Not an expert but oxygen through ears & pulse oximeter on the nose is an interesting approach." The picture has also previously been shared on Facebook and Reddit

The previously shared version of the picture includes the logo of Astro Warna, a Malaysian 24-hour TV network specializing in comedy shows. There is also a similar picture where the man has woken up. According to a fact check by Reuters, the image is originally taken from a satirical 2018 Malaysian movie. 

Source: Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts

The term Pallywood is a portmanteau of "Palestinian" and "Hollywood," and was first coined by American historian Richard Landes in a 2005 documentary entitled "Pallywood: According to Palestinian Sources." The documentary alleged that Palestinians exaggerated and manipulated interactions with Israeli troops to produce anti-Israel propaganda. It has since become a shorthand used to dismiss the veracity of media presented as evidence of civilian harm in Gaza and the West Bank.

Use of the term has significantly increased since the start of the current Gaza conflict. It has also been used to ridicule the victims of Israeli bombing. 

Accusations of "crisis actors" have become increasingly common across social media since 2012, when it was leveled by conspiracy theorists against the U.S. government after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In April 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defense made similar accusations against Ukrainian authorities after the discovery of the Bucha massacre outside of Kyiv, for which it denied responsibility.

The verdict

The picture has been circulating online since 2019 and has no connection to the current Gaza conflict. We have therefore marked 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