Fact Check: Image of Map Does NOT Show Location Of Sex Offenders In Israel -- It's Manipulated Screenshot From App That Shows Real-Time Red Alerts

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Image of Map Does NOT Show Location Of Sex Offenders In Israel -- It's Manipulated Screenshot From App That Shows Real-Time Red Alerts Edited Image

Does an image of a map with a cluster of red location pins show the locations of sex offenders in Israel? No, that's not true: The image was part of an edited screenshot taken from Red Alerts - Cumta, an app that alerts people in Israel when and where a Red Alert siren is activated. The developer of the app confirmed with Lead Stories that the image does not have anything to do with sex offenders.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on July 11, 2023. The post contained a screenshot of a map that was supposedly posted on Reddit and was captioned:

A map of registered sex offenders living in Israel.

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

map of registered sex offenders X post.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Jan 10 22:26:35 2024 UTC)

The claim has also shown up more recently, as seen in this post published on X on January 9, 2024 (archived here).

Lead Stories found another X post (archived here) published on December 1, 2023, that said it debunked the claim that the image was a map of registered sex offenders who live in Israel. This post said that the full image contained the logo of Red Alerts - Cumta (archived here), which provides real-time alerts when Red Alert sirens are activated in Israel. Red Alert sirens are used to warn of mortar or rocket fire (archived here).

Lead Stories tried to locate the exact image of the map in the English-language Red Alerts - Cumta Telegram channel, X account and Android app. However, we could not find a map matching the one used in the post making the claim. We reached out to the developer of Red Alerts - Cumta about the image and the claim attached to it.

In an email sent on January 10, 2024, the developer confirmed that the map is not a representation of sex offenders living in Israel and told us that the map itself was edited from a screenshot from the app. They responded in part:

You won't be able to find the picture of this alert for 2 reasons:
1. Its been edited and many of the points doesn't exist. If you look closely you can even see some of the pointers are not straight, and some of them are in the middle of the desert, kilometers from twons...
2. Its a screenshot taken originally from the Android app (I can tell that by the size, position, of the logo, and also by the quality of the picture which is better than the quality of the pictures my bot sends to the telegram channel).

There's no doubt this picture is fake and has been edited, and it 100% have nothing to do with registered sex offenders.

Lead Stories searched for a list of registered sex offenders living in Israel and could not find any evidence that such information is publicly available. An article published in The Jerusalem Post in 2020 states that "no public sex offender registry in Israel currently exists" (archived here).

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

Twitter screenshot

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