FACT CHECK: Photo Of ‘Kidnapped’ Billboard Was Taken In New Jersey, Not Australia

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on x, the platform formerly known as Twitter, allegedly shows an Australian billboard with the faces of kidnapped people. 

Verdict: False

The photo is miscaptioned. It was actually taken in Lakewood, New Jersey, not Australia.

Fact Check:

Many people are hanging up posters of Israelis captured by Hamas, some of which are puzzled by a pattern of anti-Israeli protestors taking these down, according to NBC News. The “Kidnapped from Israel” series of flyers have gone viral as they advocate for the release of over 200 hostages, USA Today reported.

An X image shows a billboard with numerous headshots of people. In the center, white text on a red background says “KIDNAPPED.”

The caption reads, “Try ripping this down assholes. Thank you Melbourne, Australia.”

The photo is miscaptioned, however. A July 2022 Google Maps view of Lakewood, New Jersey shows the same area, including  The logo of the advertising company Scoop Outdoor, which serves Lakewood, can also be seen on the billboard. 

Scoop Outdoor made a post showing the billboard display in various other locations, as well as the one seen in the original post. “We stand with Israel,” the post reads, implying that the billboards show kidnapped Israelis. (RELATED: X Post Purports To Show A Pro-Palestine Billboard In Chicago)

Another photo of the display was posted to Instagram. “A huge thank you and shout out to @thelakewoodscoop and @scoopoutdoor for displaying our banner and supporting the #BringThemHome campaign! Your help in spreading awareness for the Israeli hostages is invaluable!” the caption reads.

Check Your Fact has reached out to Scoop Outdoor for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Note: Check Your Fact is working to debunk false and misleading claims from the recent event. Please send tips to [email protected].  

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter