Fact Check: 'Stand With Israel' Replacing 'Stand With Ukraine' Billboard Was NOT Displayed On New York's 7th Avenue -- It's CGI Fake

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: 'Stand With Israel' Replacing 'Stand With Ukraine' Billboard Was NOT Displayed On New York's 7th Avenue -- It's CGI Fake Edited Video

Does a video show a large billboard ad of an ABC News "Stand With Ukraine" message being replaced with a "Stand With Israel" message in New York City's Times Square district? No, that's not true: This video of the intersection of 50th Street and 7th Avenue has been edited to show a fake advertisement. The real illuminated billboard display at that location at the time of writing was an ad for the DreamWorks "Trolls Band Together" movie.

The video was posted with a Russian-language caption as early as November 9, 2023, by @optimistkavshtatskom on Telegram. It was posted on X (formerly Twitter) on November 13, 2023, by @WizardSX0. The video (archived here) is 14 seconds long and was captioned:

Advertising in New York... The text "Support Israel" squeezes out the text "Support Ukraine

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Nov 14 17:38:02 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out by email to the company that owns the billboard, Clear Channel Outdoor, on November 14, 2023, to see if this advertisement was authentic. Jason King, the senior vice president of corporate communications, replied the same day. He wrote:

The ad you reference is fake and hasn't run on this or any other of our displays.

The Lead Stories composite image below shows the November 9, 2023, copy of the altered video as it appeared on Telegram (below left) and a photo of the real billboard (below right), which was posted on Snapchat that same day. It shows the "Trolls Band Together" movie ad on all panels of this multistory corner-wrapping billboard. This, and one other Snapchat image of the billboard over the Majestic Delicatessen at 200 West 50th St. in New York City, was shared on X by @kwasbeb on November 14, 2023. In the digitally edited version posted on Telegram, the altered "Stand With Israel" message only shows on the top tier of the billboard with the troll movie ad below it. As with the Snapchat images, instantstreetview.com also shows previous ads on the billboard (here and here) with both the upper and lower panels advertising the same thing.


(Source: Telegram and X screenshots taken on Tue Nov 14 18:29:37 2023 UTC)

The caption of the Telegram post contains a false narrative that a poll of the latest trends in New York was the source of this fake ABC News ad in the video. Partially translated from Russian by Google, it says:

The request for American telephony was sent to 'Bytь в trende' and it was sent. ть Израиль вместо Украины
ABC news received a request from New York for 'the latest trends' in New York.
Today's request is that 'Stand with Ukraine' is no longer trendy. В тренде теперь поддержка Израиля.
In this article, this roll is crumpled by the request for 'Roll'. What's the tonnage it's like?

Lead Stories has debunked two similar claims in the past (here and here) that featured videos of Times Square billboards edited to contain anti-Ukraine messages.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the 2023 Hamas-Israel war can be found here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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