[FALSE] “A mosque appeared in the desert after a sandstorm – Algeria”

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UNRELATED to Mosque. The original description of the picture, which was confirmed by George Steinmetz as the photographer, is: “the now disused practice of building homes with a series of domes and walls made with sand roses, or salt encursted sand crystals that are mortared together.  This style of building has disappeared over the past 25 years as the region adopted concrete and rebar as building materials”.

More in the EXPLANATION and REFERENCE section.

CATEGORY: False Context.

SOURCE: Twitter, https://archive.md/RrJnE (backup archive).

NARRATIVE: “A mosque appeared in the desert after a sandstorm – Algeria”.

EXPLANATION

Based on 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation by First Draft, categorized as “False Context: When genuine content is shared with false contextual information” [1]. The SOURCE shared a picture of disused practice of building homes technique altering the original description of the picture, which will cause false conclusions.

Clarification from the Photographer

George Steinmetz answering question from Yousef Elqedra (Institute of Arab Research and Studies (Cairo)), also looping me in the email: “Hi Yousef,

Yes, this is my picture.  I believe it was taken on Feb 11, 2010, near Lizereg village, near El Oued.

My caption info says:
Abandoned village near Lizereg, NE of El Oued, which shows the now disused practice of building homes with a series of domes and walls made with sand roses, or salt encursted sand crystals that are mortared together.  This style of building has disappeared over the past 25 years as the region adopted concrete and rebar as building materials, but nearby El Oued is still known by the name is was given over a hundred years ago by traveler Isabelle Eberhardt who called it the city of a thousand domes.

I have no info on the original use of the building, but in the past most villages were made with this dome structure, so I have no reason to believe it was something more than a home.

Kindest regards,

George”. [2] [3]

Image Verification

Similar image found which leads to George Steinmetz,

the description confirmed matched with the original picture description. [4]

Other source which were also found during image verification. [5]

REFERENCE

[1] firstdraftnews.org: “Fake news. It’s complicated.”, http://bit.ly/2qYG8Rs, https://archive.md/IT2vQ (backup archive).

[2] PDF file, copy of George Steinmetz clarification email.

[3] PDF file, copy of my email sent to George Steinmetz regarding the correct context of the picture.

[4] ⴰⵎⴻⵣⵔⵓⵢ ⵏ ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⴻⵏ – L’histoire des Berbères: “Lizereg, El Oued, Algeria”, https://bit.ly/3gFowFu / https://archive.md/iXVDg (backup archive).

[5] taringa.net: “The most incredible abandoned places on the planet”, https://bit.ly/2PmGp0G (Google Translate) / https://archive.st/dxlc (backup archive).

[6] The official site of George Steinmetz, https://georgesteinmetz.com / https://archive.md/nPYdX (backup archive).

[7] Google Earth: “EL Oued City in Algeria”, https://bit.ly/3vqmVYB

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