Tencent News Reports Fake Needle-In-Seat Epidemic in Shenzhen

By Sky Gidge, May 23, 2017

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The Tencent News article headline is worrying: 'Shenzhen Shared-bikes Have Needles Inserted in Their Seats.'

The headline is also wrong. 

Citing the Shenzhen Traffic Police Weibo account, the four images of different shared bikes in the article suggest an ongoing Shenzhen epidemic of malicious pranksters. 

Except the images are old – and likely aren't from Shenzhen.

How did this happen? Well, the traffic police's 7.37am post reads simply 'Why is it like this?' and links to a seperate post by a Weibo account created in November containing the images.

And while that account's post came from Shenzhen's Pingshan, the images were apparently all taken from articles hosted by a QQ news service, like this article

A reverse image search with Google shows that many of the pictures have been on the Internet for months, with at least one report saying the image came from a different Chinese city. 

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This image appears to have become popular on Twitter in mid-March.

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A Google image search of the above picture shows it has been being used in reports for months.

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Likely the most recent image, this one returns only two hits on Google Image Search. Fear not Shenzheners, the report – hosted by inews.qq.com suggests the picture was taken in Beijing

Or maybe you should be afraid. Who really knows where the picture was taken? Our recommendation: check the seat before your next shared bike excursion, just to be safe. 

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