Claim: A photograph shows journalist Gharida Farooqi kissing a dog on the bed. 

Fact: The viral image is being falsely linked to Farooqi. The woman in the image is Indian fitness model and trainer Aditi Mistry.

On 2 April 2023 a photograph of a woman kissing a dog was shared on social media, with varying captions, all claiming that the woman is journalist Gharida Farooqi. One post on X (archive) says, 

“غریدہ فاروقی کو کیا ہو گیا کتا چوم رہی ہے یہ !!”

[Translation: What happened to Ghareeda Farooqui, she is kissing the dog!!]

Another post on Facebook (archive) captioned the image as follows: 

“اختلاف اپنی جگہ مگر غلیضہ فاروقی کی یہ فوٹو لیک کرنے والے کی ہم شدید مدمت کرتے ہیں”


[Translation: Conflict aside, but we condemn those who leaked this photograph of Ghalizah Farooqi]

Fact or Fiction?

Through a reverse image search, Soch Fact Check found that the image shows Indian fitness model Aditi Mistry and not Pakistani journalist Gharida Farooqui. More photographs from the same moment where the model’s face is more visible were shared on Instagram here (archive) and here (archive) with the usernames @aditmistry2607 and @realaditimistry. 

These posts include a carousel of several photographs taken from different angles that clearly show the woman kissing the dog is not Gharidah Farooqi. 

Comparing the viral photograph to several images and reels posted on Mistry’s Instagram account, which has 2.2 million followers, makes it clear that the pictures with the dog show the Indian model, not Gharida Farooqi.

The viral image falsely associated with Farooqi is one among many instances of cyber-bullying that the journalist has faced over the years, and is not the first time she has been the subject of fake news. In May 2022, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also wrote about the cyber-harassment and slander faced by the journalist. According to this article, Farooqi has filed 8 complaints with the Federal Investigation Agency in response to gendered online harassment, including death and rape threats. 

According to another 2020 article by the CPJ about abuse faced by female journalists in Pakistan, Farooqi has been a target of online attacks since 2016 when she was a reporter at the television station Express News. The article states,

“She said the harassment began when a politician publicly accused her of having an affair with a government minister, a claim she denies. After that, she said her employer began to view her as a problem, claiming that political operatives from opposing parties had called the station to complain of bias in her coverage. She told CPJ she was eventually let go.”

Virality

On X, the photograph was shared here, here, and here.

On Facebook, the claim was shared here and here

Conclusion: A photograph of Indian fitness model Aditi Mistry is being falsely associated with Pakistani journalist Gharida Farooqi. 

Background image in cover photo: The Truth International

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

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