An aerial image of a large protest has been shared on Facebook and Instagram alongside a claim that it shows an anti-lockdown demonstration in the UK capital of London in March 2021. The claim is false; the photo in fact shows an anti-Brexit protest in March 2019.
The photo was published on March 21, 2021, on Facebook here, where it has been shared more than 660 times since.
The post's caption reads: "Best I've found so far.
London... we showed the world how it is done."
Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on March 22, 2021
The post circulated after thousands of people protested against ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in London on March 20, 2021, as AFP reported here.
The Facebook user posted other anti-lockdown protest news throughout the day. Other Facebook users also appeared to believe the image was associated with the anti-lockdown protest, posting comments such as: "Well done all you folks in London it was fantastic to see everyone all united and muzzleless and real faces for a change instead of zombies."
Screenshot of a Facebook comment
However, the claim is false.
A Google reverse image search found that the photo was published in a BBC report here on March 23, 2019. The article is headlined "Brexit march: Million joined Brexit protest, organisers say".
"Aerial pictures taken from a helicopter showed the scale of the crowds," the image's caption reads.
Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo shared in the misleading post (L) and the image published by the BBC in 2019 (R):
A similar angle to the image can also be viewed at the 21-second mark in this BBC aerial video, which shows the extent of the protest from London's Park Lane to Parliament Square.
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