Online rumors of French riots began to circulate

On July 1, 2023, riot police in France stand watch next to a burned-out trash can during a protest against the pol...

Following the fatal shooting by police of a 17-year-old boy in a suburb of Paris, France has experienced another night of unrest.

Social media users are posting pictures of the unrest, which has spread to other French cities. Along with actual video, there are also circulating false and deceptive claims, which could heighten tensions.

BBC Verify has looked into a few of these.

With the caption "France, photo of the day," a startling photo of a group of young men operating a French police van with one hanging out the window brandishing a gun has been shared on Twitter.

A picture of a police car with rioters taken from a tweet and and labelled andquot;False"

The tweet, which was published at the dawn of July 2 and received over 1 point 7 million views, is false; it is a still from a movie rather than an image from the ongoing riots in France.

BBC Verify examined the image and discovered that it was taken from the French movie Athena, which was released in 2022 and is a fictional account of rioting in a city suburb.

Image of a stolen French police van from the film, Athena
Athena (2022), a French movie, in an image.

The people in the van and the rider on the blue motorcycle are identical.

The tweet's author later clarified that the image was intended to be "illustrative," but not before it had received thousands of retweets.

Later on, he deleted it.

WTF is going on in France? has been written on videos showing cars crashing out of multi-story parking garage windows.

This is untrue; the footage, which appears to be from another movie, is older.   .

An image of cars falling from a multi-storey car park, taken from a tweet and labelled "false"

In order to determine whether the video had already been used online, BBC Verify took screenshots of it. The search turned up a tweet from June 2016 that claimed the video came from the Cleveland, Ohio, set of the 2016 action film Fast and Furious 8. The footage was found by BBC Verify in a multi-story parking lot on Cleveland's Prospect Avenue East using the information in that tweet.

The exterior of the building and the colors of the cars match a scene from the 2017 movie.

A video of a hooded man on a rooftop pointing what appears to be a rifle has been circulated widely on Twitter and the messaging app Telegram over the past few days.

"Rioter in France takes up sniper position with stolen police rifle," read the tweet that was posted alongside the video. According to a different account, the rifle was taken from a police van.

An image of a snipper on a roof from a videao with a label "old image"

Looters covered by a sniper, wrote a Telegram user next to the French flag while using the fire emoji. ".

The video has thousands of retweets and hundreds of thousands of views across numerous accounts and platforms.

However, the video is old footage and was not shot during the recent unrest.

BBC Verify was able to verify that the video was posted on Twitter on March 13, 2022 by looking up previous instances of it on social media.

In both tweets, the man is wearing the same thing, and the same rooftop location and buildings are visible.

Although it was unclear whether the rifle was a real weapon or a replica, the video was probably shot on the roof of a residential tower block in an eastern suburb of Paris.

Knowing about the earlier appearances of this video, one Twitter user wrote that the alleged sniper must have "been there for over a year now. ".

More than nine million people have watched a Tik Tok video of a large crowd of people with the caption "Nanterre, France - Nahel" and a string of depressing emojis.

Nahel M, a 17-year-old, was shot by police in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris.

However, the footage of the crowd was actually shot in another nation.

The exact same clip, which claimed to show an appearance by the Argentinian band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs in Mexico City on June 3, was posted last month, according to a search by BBC Verify on TikTok for other versions of the video.

Screenshot of TikTok video

An online search for recent live performances in a public space in Mexico City turned up an article by the music publication Billboard about a live performance by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs in the city's central Zocalo square on June 3 that reportedly drew 300,000 people.

In order to confirm the location of the TikTok video, BBC Verify compared the TikTok video's buildings to those in the Google Street View of the Zocalo.

Shayan Sardarizadeh and Frey Lindsay provided the reporting.

What would you like BBC Verify to look into?

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