watch out for these false or diverted images

A week after the death of George Floyd, the United States is experiencing a wave of protests and riots. The African American, who died following a brutal police arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, has become a symbol of police brutality against the black population in the country.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also “Respect our existence or expect our resistance”: in the demonstrations in the United States, the rage of a crowd as white as black

Social networks are often a sounding board in the fight against racial violence. They are a veritable mine of information in the documentation of these events, but also a place of misinformation from which certain publications linked to the death of Mr. Floyd are not immune. Here are some images and videos relayed on French-speaking social networks.

  • This photo does not show the Minneapolis Police Station on fire

The picture is impressive. We see a building in flames in the middle of the night. It has been shared many times on social media around the world to show the intensity of the Minneapolis riots. According to the legends that accompany this photo, rioters have targeted a police station.



The photo is authentic and linked to the Minneapolis riots. But it is not a building owned by the police. According to local newspaper Star Tribune, this is a fire that occurred on May 27 in a social housing building, then under construction. It was due to open in 2020. The newspaper details: “On Wednesday night, the upper wooden floors were completely engulfed in flames with thick plumes of smoke. (…) Thursday morning, what was then a construction site was reduced to a pile of steaming ashes. ”

  • American news channel did not broadcast film footage live

A montage has circulated a lot in recent days on Twitter and YouTube, in particular. In the first image, we can see a city plagued by violence, below which is a banner from the MSNBC channel reporting: “Urgent: curfews are being imposed across the United States as protesters march through the streets. “ Under this first image a screenshot extracted from the apocalyptic film World War Z presents an identical plan.

This montage purports to show that MSNBC, an American news channel known for its seriousness, would have wrongly broadcast images of a film to illustrate scenes of riots.



The channel never broadcast these images. This is a rough cut made by a Twitter user. This one superimposed the soundtrack of an MSNBC sequence showing scenes of looting in a store in Philadelphia, on shots of the film. World War Z.

On Twitter, the author of this viral video quickly apologized. “All of this quickly escalated. Yes, this MSNBC clip was from the movie World War Z. I even wrote on the video above the channel logo that it was “not true”. I significantly underestimated Twitter (…), some have claimed it was “true”. It was stupid of me. “ The internet user broadcast the real sequence which was broadcast live on the news channel:

Contacted by the American site The Verge, A spokesperson for the NBC Universal group confirmed that the channel had never used this extract from World War Z, and that these publications were “False”.

  • This video of a stolen tank is not from 2020

The @Conflits_FR account followed by more than 380,000 people on Twitter, already spotted for having disseminated false information in the past, published, on May 31, the video of a tank stolen during a demonstration in the United States. “Alert: a man stole a National Guard tank and drove through the streets of Minnesota during a demonstration. He was arrested by police after a chase. “



This video has nothing to do with current events. It dates from 2018. In June, a national guard officer was arrested after fleeing from a military base near the town of Blackstone, Virginia. A dispatch from the Associated Press (AP) agency thus reported the news item:

“The vehicle, which runs on tracks like a tank, was stolen Tuesday night at Fort Pickett in Blackstone. Police chased him for about two hours at speeds as high as 65 km / h, before the driver stopped and drove near Richmond City Hall. “

Before circulating on French accounts, this sequence was shared on Twitter by the account @ Breaking9II, which has since been suspended for having broadcast a number of false information related to protests and riots in the United States.

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