China News Service (CNS), one of the largest state-owned media outlets in mainland China, posted a story on Sina Weibo (Twitter-like service) about “rioters” setting fire to Hong Kong’s controversial pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho Kwan-yiu’s office on Sept. 15.
The post included a photo of two men climbing in a building, supposedly depicting the incident on the previous day. But this photo does not show Ho’s office; it was taken in Shandong Province on Sept. 4.
CNS quoted a local Hong Kong newspaper, Wen Wei Po, and said Ho’s office was set on fire by three rioters dressed in black throwing flares, while another rioter filmed. “The evildoing was obviously planned before,” the post said, adding that police had investigated but so far no arrests had been made.
The photo included in the post, however, showed a man and a boy climbing into a building instead of three “rioters.”
Results from a Google reverse image search shows that the photo in question was actually taken in Shandong Province ten days before the alleged incident at Ho’s office in Tsuen Wan.
The text on CNS’s Weibo post was identical to the Wen Wei Po’s article. But the photo in question did not appear in the original newspaper story.