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- A video claiming to show a pro-Israel ad replaced a pro-Ukraine ad on a New York City digital billboard is fabricated and didn’t appear there, the company that owns the billboard said.
Social media users recently shared a video of a digital advertisement in New York City they claim shows an Israeli ad urging the U.S. to support Israel instead of Ukraine.
The Nov. 14 Instagram video shows a digital billboard with an ad displaying the Ukrainian flag on one side and words that say "Stand with Ukraine" above a red heart on the other. The words "Stand with Israel" then appear on screen and push the words "Stand with Ukraine" down and out of the frame, and the flag changes to an Israeli flag.
Sticker text on the video read, "The Israeli PR machine has no tact."
The Instagram post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The digital billboard in the Instagram video shows it sits atop the Majestic Delicatessen, which is at 200 W. 50th St. on the corner of Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
We found that location on the website of Clear Channel Outdoor, an outdoor advertising company that manages that digital billboard and others in or near Times Square.
But the pro-Israel ad never appeared on that billboard.
"The ad is a fake and has never run on our displays," Clear Channel Outdoor spokesperson Jason King said.
In response to a Nov. 14 X post from a BBC Verify journalist, some social media users shared videos of the same digital billboard showing an advertisement for the movie "Trolls Band Together," which opened Nov. 17 in theaters. In those videos and the altered Israel video, there is a traditional billboard ad for the "Trolls" movie that sits below the digital screen.
Social media posts have presented New York City’s digital billboards with altered content before. In September, PolitiFact found a billboard at West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan was altered to say "Glory to Urine" instead of Ukraine during a visit to the city by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Likewise, the claim that a billboard in New York City shows a "Stand with Israel" billboard ad replacing a "Stand with Ukraine" ad is False.
Jason King, spokesperson for Clear Channel Outdoor, email exchange, Nov. 17, 2023
X post, Nov. 14, 2023
Business Insider, Israel launches a PR offensive amid its Gaza bombardment, paying for ads on YouTube, X, and even Angry Birds, Oct. 17, 2023
PolitiFact, Don’t fall for this supposed anti-Ukrainian billboard declaring ‘Glory to Urine’, Sept. 27, 2023
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