English, Fake News

Unrelated videos are shared on social media, linking them to the ongoing riots in France


As violent protests over the killing of a teenager named Nahel M (here and here) by police intensified across France, videos claiming to be from the country are being circulated on social media. Let’s verify these through this fact-checking article.

Claim: Videos related to the recent violence that erupted in France. 

Fact: All these videos are unrelated to the current riots & violent protests in France. Hence, the claims made in the posts sharing these videos are False.

Update (06 July 2023):

Video 4:

This video shows a group of people sitting on chairs, seemingly careless about something burning on the road behind them. A post sharing this video has a caption that reads, “The Taliban are governing Afghanistan better than Macron is governing France.”

To learn more context about the video, we searched the internet with relevant keywords, leading us to a YouTube video uploaded by ABC News on 27 March 2023. The title of this video says, “French diners enjoy wine as fire lit by protesters burns nearby | ABC News.” In the description of this video, ABC News mentioned that this occurred in the French City of Bordeaux, where demonstrators protesting about the pension reforms lit a fire. More details about this incident can be read here. Clearly, a video that predates the current France protests is being falsely attributed to it.

Video 5:

A video showing a sea of people holding candles while singing a song is shared on social media through a post claiming that it shows Catholics who are frightened of illegal Muslim immigrants singing Ave Maria at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

A reverse image search on a few of the keywords of this video led us to a few social media posts (here and here) from August 2022, much before the current unrest in France. According to these posts, this video was filmed when Catholics sang Ave Maria at the Sanctuary of Lourdes in France on the eve of the feast of the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary.

Video 6:

This video shows a building engulfed in a blazing fire, which the post describes as the largest library in France, Alcazar Library, located in Marseille.

However, through a reverse image search on the video’s keyframes, we found that the video shows the main post office in the Philippine capital, Manila, which was demolished by a massive fire that broke out in May 2023 (here and here).

Video 7:

This video allegedly shows a sniper spotted on a rooftop in France. The post attributes the video to recent riots in France and states that there is a civil war-like situation now in France.

A reverse image search on a few keyframes of this viral video led us to a tweet that posted the same video in March 2023. The description of this video in French translates to “The city sniper with the position and all, lookout well with his sniper rifle firearm gun, monitor stalk camper call of duty.” A further search led us to another tweet from 2022 that contained the same video. Since this video existed on the internet before the ongoing unrest in France, it is safe to conclude that the viral claim is false.

Video 8:

A video that shows people gathered atop and around the historic Republic Square (Place de la République) in Paris is being shared on social media with a claim that it shows muslim refugees of France.

A reverse image search using a few keyframes of this video led us to photos (here and here) and videos (here, here, and here) from 2019 that match with visuals identical to the viral video. Reportedly, in 2019, French-Algerians protested against then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for the fifth time as president. However, we could not find the exact source of this viral video, scenes from the pictures and videos related to the 2019 protest match with the scenes in the viral video. Moreover, we did not find any credible sources to support the claim that such a protest holding the Algerian flags was held at Republic Square during the ongoing France protests.

Published (03 July 2023):

Video 1:

A video is being shared as the visuals of the funeral procession of the teenager Nahel who was killed by the police. A huge rally of motorcycles can be seen in the clip. Research revealed that this video is old and unrelated to the recent incident.

Performing a reverse image search using a few keyframes of the viral video led us to a TikTok video posted four years ago, which contained the same visuals as the viral video. This had a hashtag mentioned with the video #Kingzempache.

Taking this as a hint, we performed a keyword search on the internet, which led us to several news reports (here, here, and here) related to the incident linked with the video(also watch).

Reportedly, a man named Dimitri Zami, nicknamed Zempache was killed during an armed robbery that occurred at his home in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, in March 2019. The visuals seen in the viral video belong to Zami’s funeral procession. A further search about this incident led us to another video of this procession filmed from a different angle. The visuals of the funeral procession of Nahel can be found in this report by Associated Press.

Video 2:

In this video, we can see a woman posing with the Eiffel Tower, and moments later, it gets bombed. A few other visuals in the same video also show bombing around the Eiffel Tower. 

A thorough check on this video revealed that this video is old and actually made using CGI. A keyword search to learn more details about the viral video led us to several news reports (here, here, and here) that contained this video.

Reportedly, Ukraine released a mock-up video showing Paris being hit by bombs. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense posted this video on Twitter, tagging NATO with a message that read ‘close the sky over Ukraine.’

Video 3:

A video in which a bunch of cars falls out of a building is linked to the France riots. In our research, we found that this is an old video and was filmed during the shoot of Fast and Furious 8.

A reverse image search using a few keyframes of the viral video led us to a few news reports (here and here) about the incident from 2016. 

Reportedly, this video shows the filming of a stunt scene for the movie Fast and Furious 8 in Cleveland, Ohio, in the USA.

To sum up, unrelated videos are shared, linking them to the ongoing riots in France.


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