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How a protest video in Algeria was recycled by anti-immigration scaremongers all over Europe

Migration
Fact-check

FactCheckEU, France

26 April 2019, Updated: 26 April 2019

How a protest video in Algeria was recycled by anti-immigration scaremongers all over Europe

Blurry videos of crowds are often used to spread anti-Muslim rhetoric in Europe and the US. This has been the case this week with a video which has been said, on Twitter and Facebook, to be shot in France or in Denmark. It actually was shot in Algeria.

A video of a violent protest in Algeria recently went viral amongst anti-immigration accounts on social media, which claimed that the footage came from Denmark or France in order to fuel their anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The scene on the video, which shows people around a police van amidst a chaotic scene with loud bangs, sirens and shouting, is falsely presented as “Muslims” attacking “Danish Police”.

There has indeed been rioting in Denmark, after a publicity stunt from far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, repeatedly throwing a Quran on the ground in the streets of Nørrebro, the main immigrant area of Copenhagen.

But people with poor knowledge of Danish architecture shared the video, claiming that it was showing the riots in Copenhagen.

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The first viral instance of this claim FactcheckEU could find, on April 19, was not anti-Muslim. It came from a pro-sharia Turkish language Twitter account, shedding a positive light on the riotings. A day before, the video was published by a German channel posting anti-immigration and Islamophobic videos. However, this video only got hundreds of views. Where this hoax originated is still unclear.

Over the past days, the video could be found with English language captions on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, an account named “OnlineMagazin”, which often shares sensational videos with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim captions, published the video, commenting: “When #Muslim hordes attack Danish police in #Copenhagen.” The video attached to this tweet has 155 000 views.

On Facebook, The page “The Rallying Cry of American Patriots” shared the video, getting 75 000 views in less than 24 hours. Most comments on the publication appear to believe the caption. “Obama made this

In the Netherlands, the video was published on Dumpert, a popular portal gathering user-generated videos. The video was deleted from the portal after garnering 157 000 views.

In Spain, something stranger happened: the video was not set anymore in Denmark, but was said to be shot in “a Muslim neighborhood” in France. “You won’t see this on la Sexta [a Spanish TV channel]”, said a tweet shared more than a thousand times.

Where did the video come from?

Our partner AFP Factuel published an open source debunk of this video, and found it took place on the Krim Belkacem boulevard in Algiers. The hotel seen on the footage is the Hôtel des Beaux-Arts.

A different video showing a very similar scene was published by the Algerian news outlet Casbah Tribune on March 8, during which massive protests took place in the capital.

En vidéo ↪️ Exemple de violences commises contre la police ce vendredi 8 mars 2019, rue Krim Belkacem à #Alger ↩️بالفيديو : جانب من أعمال العنف التي مورست ضد الشرطة هذه الجمعة 8 مارس 2019، شارع كريم بلقاسم #الجزائر

Publiée par Casbah Tribune sur Vendredi 8 mars 2019

Jules Darmanin with AFP Factuel, Maldito Bulo, J.P. Burger, Thomas Hedin, Till Eckert and Baybars Örsek.

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