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Fact check: Facial recognition company did not identify Antifa members among Capitol mob

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

A news outlet that reported that a facial recognition company identified members of Antifa among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol has now apologised and issued a correction. Screenshots featuring the original report, however, continue to circulate on social media.

The Washington Times quoted an unnamed “retired military officer” on Jan. 6 as saying Singapore-based startup XRVision had matched the faces of two men spotted at the riot earlier that day with Antifa members from Philadelphia. The newspaper said it had also been provided with the photo matches, which it claimed showed a “Stalinist sympathizer” and “someone who shows up at climate and Black Lives Matter protests”. These photos do not appear to have been printed.

These claims were spread widely across Facebook ( here , here , here , here ) and reached Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who cited it on the House floor (here). He later shared the article on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, too ( here , here ).

The Washington Times has since corrected and changed the original article (here). A correction note reads: “An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that XRVision facial recognition software identified Antifa members among rioters who stormed the Capitol Wednesday. XRVision did not identify any Antifa members. The Washington Times apologizes to XRVision for the error.”

XRVision appears to have been founded in 2015 (here) and has a website featuring a only a slogan and an email address (www.xrvision.com/). XRVision was not immediately available for comment following a request by Reuters.

VERDICT

False. The Washington Times has rewritten its article to say that a facial recognition company did not identify any Antifa members in images of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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