Near-identical posts about a missing child called Tyler are fake

22 December 2022
What was claimed

A Facebook user is looking for their son, Tyler, who went missing after going to school.

Our verdict

These posts are almost identical to others we’ve written about before. One of them uses an image of a 14-year-old Australian girl, while the other uses an image of a boy who was found safe and well in Wales earlier this year.

Posts circulating on Facebook about a child named Tyler who went missing after his first day of school are false.

One of the posts reads: “This is the most recent picture of my son Tyler White at his first day of school, he left yesterday morning for school and he never came back.

“He was last seen wearing black converses with purple and red shoelaces as well as a blue zip-up hoodie, he has dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and he’s about 5’4-5’5 and 124lb. Please help me find him”.

However, the image attached to the post does not show a boy named Tyler. It shows a 14-year-old Australian girl named Maggie, who is seeking a bone marrow transplant. We wrote about another series of posts falsely using Maggie’s photo earlier this week.

Another of the posts features almost the same text, except the name has been changed to “Tyler Anderson”.

The image accompanying this post is also one we’ve written about before, showing a 10-year-old boy with a different name who was reported missing in Newport, Wales in June, before eventually being found safe and well.

We’ve fact checked a range of fake Facebook posts appealing for help with missing parents, lost dogs and even abandoned babies. These posts often have their comments disabled, which means that other social media users can’t warn that they’re fake. And we’ve seen several examples of these posts being subsequently edited to advertise surveys or housing websites.

Image courtesy of Dawid Sokołowski

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.