An old and unrelated video showing a sniper taking aim from a building rooftop is being shared with the false claim that it is from the recent riots that have broken out in France. BOOM found that the video dates back to at least March 2022, and is not from the ongoing unrest in the country.
Nahel M, a 17-year-old teenager of Algerian heritage was shot dead by a police officer at a traffic stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on June 27. The boy's death has caused widespread riots in France, resulting in the deployment of 45,000 police personnel, including special forces in various cities.
The video carries the text, "avec position et tous", which can be translated to English as "with position and all". The caption with the video on Twitter reads, "Snipers spotted on French rooftops"
The same video is being shared with the false claim on Facebook.
BOOM found that the video is not from the recent riots in France and is old dating back at least to March 2022.
A reverse image search of some keyframes from the video led us to an old tweet published on March 6, 2023, that carried the same video. The caption of the tweet reads, "The city sniper with the position and all, lookout lookout well with his sniper rifle firearm gun, monitor stalk camper call of duty"
The tweet carries a sarcastic caption while referencing Call of Duty, which is an American video game franchise.
(Original text in French: "Le sniper de la cité avec la position et tout, guetteur guette bien avec son fusil sniper arme à feu flingue gun, surveille stalk campeur call of duty")
We used some keywords from the tweet's caption and ran a search on Twitter again. We found that the same video was uploaded on March 13, 2022, with the caption "Le sniper de la cité" which can be translated in English as "The city sniper"
Click here for an archive.
We looked at the video closely and found the same video was also posted on Snapchat, a social media app with disappearing messages. The first frame of the video shows the same sniper from a different angle. Here, the location of the video is mentioned as 'Hautes Noues, Villiers-sur-Marne, France'.
It also has a sarcastic caption with laughing emojis which when translated from French reads, "The city sniper 🤣🤣🤣 Yesterday it was a travelling carnival, today its call of (duty) 😂 "
Taking a cue from this, we geolocated the video using Google Maps and found the location in Hautes Noues, France.
The viral video shows the sniper pointed at a curved building and a lawn with a big tree and patch of grass. A satellite view of Hautes Noues confirms this location.
A comparison of the building from which the sniper was pretending to shoot in the viral video and street view can be seen here:
BOOM was unable to verify the incident in the viral video or whether the man was holding an actual firearm. The video appears to be some sort of a video shoot and not actual visuals of a sniper, however, we were able to establish that the video is old dating back to March 2022.
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